Tissue-engineered urinary conduit: the forerunner of regenerative medicine in urologic surgery.
In muscle-invasive and high-risk non muscle-invasive bladder cancer (BC), the procedure of choice is radical cystectomy (RC). Subsequently, a urinary diversion is formed using a segment of the gastrointestinal tract, typically the small bowel, exposing the patient to early and late complications.
The main role of regenerative medicine in the cystectomy population would be to spare healthy bowel tissue and functionally replace diseased tissue by the creation of tissue-engineered urinary conduits (TEUCs). The aim is to produce a tissue-engineered urinary conduit with three different approaches:
human (cadaver) SIS decellularized with the technique developed by Gerosa et al. to avoid toxic effects and then re-seeded with adipose-derived smooth muscle cells and urothelial cells
a tubular scaffold made of PGA/PLGA polymer with the use of a 3D-bioprinter (seeded with autologous-derived adipose-derived smooth muscle cells).
Each product will be tested for precisely controlled mechanical features. The long-term idea is to translate these techniques to more complex urological structures such as ureteral replacements or bio-engineered neobladders.
Prof. Filiberto Zattoni
Full Professor of Urology and Director of the Urology Clinic and Urology Residency Program at the University of Padova (12/2009-current). Wide clinical and research experience in the main fields of Urology, with particular interest in Urologic Oncology, Robotic surgery, Endourology. Author/coauthor of more than 400 scientific publications on international and national journals. Member of EAU-European Association of Urology guidelines on Prostate Cancer (up to 2012), member of Regione Veneto PDTA committee on urologic malignances. H-index: 36 (Scopus, 2019).
Prof. Fabrizio Dal Moro
Associate Professor of Urology at University of Padova and Professor of Urology and Director of the Urology Clinic at the University-Hospital of Udine. Extensive surgical experience as open, laparoscopic and robotic surgeon. Author of more than 90 indexed publications and several books and book chapters. Strong interest in new technologies, surgical anatomy, regenerative medicine.
Dr. Alessandro Morlacco
MD, Urologist and PhD student (Oncology and Immunology curriculum) at the University of Padova. Former research fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Interest in Urologic Oncology, surgical anatomy, regenerative medicine. Author of 33 indexed publications and several abstracts.
Dr. Martina Casarin
Degree in Biomedical Engineering and Master Degree in Bioengineering at University of Padova. Strong interest in Tissue Engineering. Experience during her Master Degree thesis on the engineering of the esophagus in Telea Biotech srl, focusing on decellularization and canalization of the esophagus and the improvement of the bioreactor project. Currently, research fellow in WP 14 “Tissue-engineered urinary conduit: the forerunner of regenerative medicine in urologic surgery” project.