Neomorphogenesis of urological structures in vivo from cell culture
Methods and artificial matrices for the growth and implantation of urological structures and surfaces are disclosed in which urothelial cells are grown in culture on biodegradable, biocompatible, fibrous matrices formed of polymers, such as polyglycolic acid, polylactic acid, or other polymers which degrade over time. The cells can be cultured in vitro until an adequate cell volume and density has developed for the cells to survive and proliferate in vivo. Alternatively, when adequate cell numbers for implantation are available, the cells can be attached to the matrix and implanted directly, without proliferation in vitro. The implants approximate the desired urological structure to be replaced or repaired, such as the kidney, urether, bladder, urethra, and the like. Implantation is followed by remodeling through cell growth and proliferation in vivo. In another aspect of the invention, techniques are disclosed for selectively extracting or harvesting urothelial cells either from excised urological tissue in vitro or from intact urological tissue in vivo by treating the tissue with a digestive enzyme, such as collagenase.
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