Cell Biology and Translational Medicine. Volume 3. Stem Cells, Bio-materials and Tissue Engineering
Autologous gastrointestinal tissue is the gold standard biomaterial for urinary tract reconstruction despite its long-term neuromechanical and metabolic complications. Regenerative biomaterials have been proposed as alternatives; however many are limited by a poor host derived regenerative response and deficient supportive elements for effective tissue regeneration in vivo. Urological biomaterials are sub-classified into xenogenic extracellular matrices (ECMs) or synthetic polymers. ECMs are decellularised, biocompatible, biodegradable biomaterials derived from animal organs. Synthetic polymers vary in chemical composition but may have the benefit of being reliably reproducible from a manufacturing perspective. Urological biomaterials can be 'seeded' with regenerative stem cells in vitro to create composite biomaterials for grafting in vivo. Mesenchymal stem cells are advantageous for regenerative purposes as they self-renew, have long-term viability and possess multilineage differentiation potential. Currently, tissue-engineered biomaterials are developing rapidly in regenerative urology with many important clinical milestones achieved. To truly translate from bench to bedside, regenerative biomaterials need to provide better clinical outcomes than current urological tissue replacement strategies.