‘Bone marrow cells help regenerate bladder’
Washington: Two distinct cell populations harvested from a patient's healthy bone marrow are helping to regenerate bladder, according to a new study led by an Indian origin scientist.
Researchers led by Arun K Sharma, research assistant professor in urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and colleagues, is an alternative to contemporary tissue-engineering strategies.
The bone marrow cells are being used to recreate the organ's smooth muscle, vasculature, and nerve tissue, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"We are manipulating a person's own disease-free cells for bladder tissue reformation," said Sharma in a statement.
"We have used the spina bifida patient population as a proof of concept model because those patients typically have bladder dysfunction.
"However, this regeneration approach could be used for people suffering from a variety of bladder issues where the bone marrow micro-environment is deemed normal," Sharma said.
In end-stage neurogenic bladder disease an illness often associated with spinal cord diseases like spina bifida the nerves which carry messages between the bladder and the brain do not work properly, causing an inability to pass urine.
The most common surgical option, augmentation cystoplasty, involves placing a "patch" derived from an individual's bowel over a part of the diseased organ in order to increase its size.
The current "gold standard," the procedure remains problematic because the bowel tissue introduces long-term complications like the development of electrolyte imbalance and bladder cancer.
Because Sharma's procedure does not use bowel tissue, it offers the benefits of augmentation without the association of long-term risks.