Urinary diversion after radical cystectomy in patients with bladder cancer normally takes the form of an ileal conduit or neobladder. However, such diversions are associated with a number of complications including increased risk of infection. A plausible alternative is the construction of a neobladder (or bladder tissue) in vitro using autologous cells harvested from the patient. Biomaterials can be used as a scaffold for naturally occurring regenerative stem cells to latch onto to regrow the bladder smooth muscle and epithelium. Such engineered tissues show great promise in urologic tissue regeneration, but are faced with a number of challenges. For example, the differentiation mesenchymal stem cells from various sources can be difficult and the smooth muscle cells formed do not precisely mimic the natural cells.
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