Scientific advancements are happening at a rapid pace, improving the quality of life for all of humanity.
Still, some experiments surprise even the most optimistic researchers. Dr. Anthony Atala, a North Carolina doctor affiliated with Wake Forest University, recently released evidence of the body’s amazing regenerative powers.
Working with children, Dr. Atala reversed urinary tract damage in boys who had been involved in traumatic car accidents.
The five boys who participated in the study were between the ages of ten and fourteen and were completely dependent on drainage bags to empty their bladders. Because of the pain and inconvenience, the subjects were largely bed-ridden.
Using a piece of each boy’s bladder, the doctor and his assistants were successful in re-growing new urethral tubes. Regenerated cells were wrapped around a dissolvable tube, which was then surgically inserted in place of the missing urethra. Once established, the frame of the tube dissolved and each boy had a functioning urinary tract.
As exciting as the initial success was, the most important part of this study was the long-term effects. Even six years after the transplants were performed, no adverse effects or tissue rejection was found. Each boy continues to have fully-functioning bladder control and normal urination. Though the numbers were small, further study groups have displayed the same promising results.