Stem cells for the treatment of urinary incontinence.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is highly prevalent. As of now, there is no minimally invasive long-term treatment available. Adult stem cells are nonimmunogenic and have the ability to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple cell types. Over the past decade, in vivo studies have described periurethral injections of adult-derived stem cells for the treatment of SUI. The ultimate goal has been to achieve a permanent cure for SUI by restoration of the intrinsic and extrinsic urethral sphincter and the surrounding connective tissue, including peripheral nerves and blood vessels. For this purpose, future studies need to focus on delivery systems, cell survival, and functional improvement of the urethral closure mechanism, including improvement of innervation and vascularization.
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