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Urinary Incontinence Stem Cell Research at the McGowan Institute

Loss of bladder control afflicts over 13 million Americans, some of whom receive collagen shots to add bulk to the bladder sphincter. But sometimes, the collagen can cause an immune reaction.

Using Stem Cells to Treat Urinary Incontinence

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

During treatment, doctors:

  • Isolate the stem cells from a small biopsy of the thigh.
  • Make copies of the cells in the lab over a few 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 bladder leaks.

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