Tissue-engineered urinary bladder

Alexander M. Turner, Jennifer Southgate

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Once thought of as a passive urine storage vessel, the urinary bladder is now recognised as a dynamic, compliant mechanosensory organ, dependent upon specialised structure-function relationships to preserve renal function and urinary continence. Understanding these relationships is central to the development of successful reconstruction approaches to restore urinary capacity and continence in patients with dysfunctional or diseased bladders. In recent years, the refinement of cell culture techniques to generate clinically useful quantities of normal urothelial and bladder smooth muscle cells in the laboratory has progressed alongside advances in biomaterial technologies. The combining of these fields has produced a wide variety of potential bladder tissue engineering and regenerative reconstruction strategies for the future. The bladder functions to store urine at safe, physiological pressures, and in so doing protects the upper renal tracts from damage [1]. Its specialised structure and biomechanical properties confer high distensability, capacity and compliance, and the ability to undergo repeated voiding cycles. The adult mammalian bladder is composed of four distinct layers. The innermost layer is the urothelium, which abuts the intravesicular space and is separated by a basement membrane from the lamina propria. The lamina propria contains nervous and vascular structures embedded within a collagenous matrix. Outside the lamina propria are three loosely arranged layers of smooth muscle, and the bladder is covered externally by a single serosal layer.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFundamentals of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783540777540
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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