Bladder Regeneration: Cells, Scaffolds and Bioreactors
Various pathologies or their surgical treatments can alter the function of the urinary bladder or require its removal. The bladder has the ability to perform repeated and coordinated contractions to empty urine without compromising its storage capacity. Therefore, when this organ is affected in such a way that it needs to be excised and replaced with an artificial complete organ (or part of it) produced by tissue engineering, all these properties must be considered in order to be able to reproduce them. Radical cystectomy and enterocystoplasty are, nowadays, the standard procedures for the treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. However, they do not solve the functional problem; they are associated with a non-negligible amount of complications and generate a high economic cost. For these reasons, various groups of researchers around the world are working on alternative strategies to achieve the ideal method of total or partial regeneration of this organ. In this publication, we carry out a thorough review of the state of the art of the components of this process, from cells to tissue engineering and bioreactors as fundamental factors in advanced therapy of bladder regeneration. The low impact that that scientific production observed in this field can be attributed to the loss of motivation, due to the great difficulty of obtaining an organ with correct functionality.
Keywords: bioreactors, tissue engineering, bladder regeneration, scaffolds.