Treatment for Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence afflicts over 17 million Americans, some of whom receive collagen injections to add bulk to the bladder sphincter. Unfortunately, the injected collagen can sometimes cause an immune reaction. At the McGowan Institute, researchers have developed a rejection-free alternative treatment using a patient's own stem cells from muscle. These are isolated from a small biopsy of the patient's thigh, replicated in the laboratory over several weeks, then injected into the bladder sphincter. The stem cells persist in the bladder for up to six months and grow to become the same sort of muscle that the bladder sphincter is made of, improving its strength.