Scientists reported today the first human recipients of laboratory-grown vaginal organs. A research team led by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, describes in the Lancet long-term success in four teenage girls who received vaginal organs that were engineered with their own cells.
"This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans," said Atala. "This may represent a new option for patients who require vaginal reconstructive surgeries. In addition, this study is one more example of how regenerative medicine strategies can be applied to a variety of tissues and organs."
Atlántida M Raya-Rivera, Diego Esquiliano, Reyna Fierro-Pastrana, Esther López-Bayghen, Pedro Valencia, Ricardo Ordorica-Flores, Shay Soker, James J Yoo, Anthony Atala. Tissue-engineered autologous vaginal organs in patients: a pilot cohort study
. The Lancet
, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60542-0
The scaffold is configured into a vaginal shape. Credit: Image courtesy of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center