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Urinary Incontinence Treatment at the McGowan Institute

Urinary incontinence afflicts over 13 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.

Using Stem Cells to Treat Urinary Incontinence

At the McGowan Institute, researchers have designed a rejection-free alternative treatment using a patient's own stem cells from muscle.

During treatment, doctors:

  • Isolate the stem cells from a small biopsy of the patient's thigh
  • Replicate the cells in the lab over several weeks
  • Inject the stem cells into the bladder sphincter

The stem cells persist in the bladder for up to six months. They grow to become the same sort of muscle that makes up the bladder sphincter, improving its strength.

This McGowan Institute-developed stem cell therapy, licensed by Cook MyoSite, Inc., is now in a clinical trial to treat stress-induced urinary incontinence.

Contact Us

McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
450 Technology Drive
Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Phone: 412-624-5500
Fax: 412-624-5363
Email: McGowan@pitt.edu