Lab grown vaginas are helping four females live normal lives.
Lab-grown vaginas are helping four females live normal lives. The organs were made by using the patients' very own cells. Once engineered, they were implanted into the women.
The implants help females suffering from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, or MRKHS, which causes the uterus and vagina to be either missing, underdeveloped or deformed.
The director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Anthony Atala led the team that was responsible for developing and successfully implanting the vaginas.
The first part of the process involves obtaining tissue samples from patients.
The cells are later arranged on biodegradable scaffolding shaped like vaginas. Muscle cells are added to the outside and epithelial cells are placed inside.
Once the lab vaginas are complete, they are given time to mature. After that’s done, they are implanted into created canals and stitched into place.
The four patients who took part in the experiment and subsequent procedure are now doing fine. Their organs are functioning properly and the ladies will be able to have children.
Atala commented “It’s been rewarding to see them do so well. It does change their lives. It’s a challenging problem to have. You’re dealing not just with the anatomical defect, but making sure they do well emotionally.”