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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Urethral Reconstruction with Tissue-Engineered Human Amniotic Scaffold in Rabbit Urethral Injury Models

Fuli Wang, Tao Liu, Lijun Yang, Geng Zhang, Heliang Liu, Xiaomin Yi, Xiaojian Yang, Tzu-yin Lin, Weijun Qin, Jianlin Yuan

Department of Urology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:2430-2438

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.891042

Available online:

Published: 2014-11-26


Background: Mitigating urethral injury remains a great challenge for urologists due to lack of ideal biomaterials for urethroplasty. The application of amniotic membranes (AM) over other synthetic materials make it a better potential source for urethral reconstruction. We separated the basement layer of AM to obtain denuded human amniotic scaffold (dHAS) and then inoculated primary rabbit urethral epithelial cells on the surface of dHAS to define whether this strategy minimize potential rejection and maximize the biocompatibility of human AM.
Material and Methods: After the successful acquisition of dHAS from AM, cell-seeded dHAS were prepared and characterized. Both cell-seeded dHAS and acellular dHAS were subcutaneously implanted. Immune responses were compared by histological evaluation and CD4 cell and CD8 cell infiltrations. Then they were applied as urethroplastic materials in the rabbit models of urethral injury to fully explore the feasibility and efficacy of tissue-engineered dHAS xenografts in urethral substitution application.
Results: Mild inflammatory infiltration was observed in cell-seeded dHAS grafts, as revealed by fewer accumulations of CD4 cells and CD8 cells (or neutrophils or other immune cells). Urethral defects of rabbits in the urethroplastic group with dHAS implantation (n=6) were completely resolved in one month, while there were one infection and one fistula in the control group with acellular dHAS patches (n=6). Histopathological analysis revealed mild immune response in cell-seeded dHAS group (P<0.05).
Conclusions: Tissue-engineered dHAS minimize potential rejection and maximize the biocompatibility of AM, which makes it a potential ideal xenograft for urethral reconstruction.

Keywords: Coculture Techniques, Animals, Amnion - ultrastructure, Disease Models, Animal, Epithelial Cells - metabolism, Rabbits, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures - methods, Tissue Engineering - methods, Tissue Scaffolds - chemistry, Urethra - surgery