Autologous regeneration of blood vessels in urinary bladder matrices provides early perfusion after transplant to the bladder

Stephanie L. Osborn, Leanna W. Mah, Erica V. Ely, Stefania Ana, Christina Huynh, Naveena S. Ujagar, Serena C. Chan, Philip Hsiao, Jonathan C. Hu, Yvonne Y. Chan, Blaine A. Christiansen, Eric A. Kurzrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Large animal testing and clinical trials using bioengineered bladder for augmentation have revealed that large grafts fail due to insufficient blood supply. To address this critical issue, an in vivo staged implant strategy was developed and evaluated to create autologous, vascularized bioengineered bladder tissue with potential for clinical translation. Pig bladders were used to create acellular urinary bladder matrices (UBMs), which were implanted on the rectus abdominus muscles of rats and pigs to generate cellular and vascular grafts. Rectus-regenerated bladder grafts (rrBGs) were highly cellularized and contained an abundance of CD31-positive blood vessels, which were shown to be functional by perfusion studies. Muscle patterns within grafts showed increased smooth muscle formation over time and specifically within the detrusor compartment, with no evidence of striated muscle. Large, autologous rrBGs were transplanted to the pig bladder after partial cystectomy and compared to transplantation of control UBMs at 2 weeks and 3 months post-transplant. Functional, ink-perfused blood vessels were found in the central portion of all rrBGs at 2 weeks, while UBM grafts were significantly deteriorated, contracted and lacked central cellularization and vascularization. By 3 months, rrBGs had mature smooth muscle bundles and were morphologically similar to native bladder. This staged implantation technique allows for regeneration and harvest of large bladder grafts that are morphologically similar to native tissue with functional vessels capable of inosculating with host bladder vessels to provide quick perfusion to the central area of the large graft, thereby preventing early ischemia and contraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-731
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • bioengineered bladder
  • blood vessels
  • inosculation
  • rectus muscle
  • staged implantation
  • transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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