Perfusion Flow on urogenital epithelial cells for urethral tissue engineering purposes

Jun 29, 2022, 2:30 PM
Room: S1

Room: S1


De Graaf, Petra (UMC Utrecht, RMCU and Department of Urology )


Urethral reconstruction is performed in patients with urethral strictures or for correction of congenital disorders. In most instances, foreskin or buccal mucosa flaps are used in these surgeries. However, complications may occur due to limited availability of tissue. In the future, tissue engineering (TE) might offer alternative solutions as it enables a detailed design to closely mimic native tissue, and provides opportunities for creating a scaffold for urethral reconstruction. Here we describe the cellular responses to fluidic flow of cell types that have the potential to be used in urethral TE.

Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and bladder and urethra derived epithelial cells (primary cells, isolated from male pigs by PdG) were exposed for 72 hours to fluidic, causing shear stress of τmax= 10.0 dyn/cm2 and τmax= 20.0 dyn/cm2 in a ibidi flow system. Cell elongation, cell alignment and actin fiber alignment were analyzed.

Bladder and urethra derived epithelial cells elongate and align when exposed to fluidic flow induced shear stress similar to endothelial HUVEC cells. Despite their different origin [1], we could see no differences between bladder and urethral epithelial cells in the flow experiments.

Both bladder and urethral epithelial cells similarly adapt to fluidic flow. So in this respect, both cell types could potentially be used in TE for urethral reconstruction. This is important information, because the harvesting of bladder epithelium is much easier than of urethra epithelium: bladder epithelial cells can be isolated from urine or bladder washout or may be obtained by biopsy, in contrast to urethra epithelial cells. Next steps in our approach would be creating intermitted flow to mimic voiding patterns in patients

[1] de Graaf P, van der Linde EM, Rosier PFWM, et al. Systematic Review to Compare Urothelium Differentiation with Urethral Epithelium Differentiation in Fetal Development, as a Basis for Tissue Engineering of the Male Urethra. Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2017;23(3):257-267.


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