Tissue Engineering Graft for Urethral Reconstruction: Is It Ready for Clinical Application

ORTAÇ M., Ekerhult T. O., Zhao W., Atala A.

UROLOGY RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, vol.49, no.1, pp.11-18, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/tud.2023.22226
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.11-18
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


Despite developing surgical techniques in urethral surgery, the outcome and complications are still unsatisfactory. Alternative treatment modality has been coming up, particularly in patients with longer stricture, under revision surgery, and penile stricture. Tissue engineering grafts are a promising approach for substituting urethral reconstruction. Over the decades, numerous preclinical studies have been published to show the efficacy and safety of different origins of materials, the presence of autologous cells (acellular matrices or autologous cell-seeded matrices), and the construction of engineered tissue (patch or tubularized constructs) on animal models. However, the results of these studies have not yet reached the intended level for daily clinical practice. A PubMed database search was performed for articles, using specific keywords, published between 1998 and 2022, with a selection on using tissue-engineered grafts for urethroplasty. Many materials have been used as a graft, such as acellular bladder matrix, small intestinal submucosa, acellular dermal matrix, and polyglycolic acid with or without cells, and were evaluated according to the functional and anatomical outcomes comprising complications. According to current literature, tubularized scaffolds constructed from co-cultured cells have promising results for the future. However, high-quality evidence through randomized controlled studies with larger sample sizes, with a long-term follow-up is required to determine accurate outcomes.