Artificial Penis Grown In Lab
Good news for men?
Damaged human genitals could eventually be restored to full function after penis tissue has been successfully grown in the laboratory and implanted into animals.
Scientists in the United States have replaced the erectile tissue of rabbits with a cultured version grown from cells in a dish, restoring normal sexual function and allowing the animals to father offspring.
The research is the most successful attempt yet to engineer penis tissue that works normally when implanted, and promises to have benefits for reconstructive surgery for human patients.
At present there are few options for men who suffer penis damage because of injury or cancer, or who are born with genital abnormalities. While the penis can sometimes be rebuilt for cosmetic effect, it is rarely possible to restore sexual function because erectile tissue cannot be replaced.
The research suggests that it should, ultimately, be possible to grow new erectile tissue using cells from the penis seeded on to a shaped 3-D lattice.
This could also be used to help men with certain forms of impotence caused by tissue damage. Another potential application is in cosmetic surgery for penis enlargement, though this will be limited by the risk of damage to a healthy organ.