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Vol. 78, No. 1, 2007
Issue release date: January 2007
Urol Int 2007;78:23–29

Different Types of Scaffolds for Reconstruction of the Urinary Tract by Tissue Engineering

Brehmer B. · Rohrmann D. · Becker C. · Rau G. · Jakse G.
aDepartment of Urology, University Clinic Aachen, and bHelmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technical University Aachen, Aachen, Germany

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Introduction: Tissue engineering is an important and expanding field in reconstructive surgery. The ideal biomaterial for urologic tissue engineering should be biodegradable and support autologous cell growth. We examined different scaffolds to select the ideal material for the reconstruction of the bladder wall by tissue engineering. Materials and Methods: We seeded mouse fibroblasts and human keratinocytes in a co-culture model on 13 different scaffolds. The cell-seeded scaffolds were fixed and processed for electron microscopy, hematoxylin and eosin stain, and immunohistochemistry. Cell density and epithelial cell layers were evaluated utilizing a computer-assisted optical measurement system. Results: Depending on the growth pattern, scaffolds were classified into the following three distinct scaffold types: carrier-type scaffolds with very small pore sizes and no ingrowth of the cells. This scaffold type induces a well-differentiated epithelium. Fleece-type scaffolds with fibers and huge pores. We found cellular growth inside the scaffold but no epithelium on top of it. Sponge-type scaffolds with pores between 20 and 40 µm. Cellular growth was observed inside the scaffold and well-differentiated epithelium on top of it. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first time three distinct scaffold types have been reported. All types supported the cell growth. The structure of the scaffolds affects the pattern of cell growth.

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