THE CHILDRENS HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES
In the setting of end-stage bladder disease, current bladder replacement techniques involve the use of intestinal segments, which are associated with significant perioperative morbidity and long-term complications. Combining tissue engineering techniques with stem cells could lead to bladder replacement without the morbidity and complications of current therapies. The overall goal of the parent grant is to combine the principles of stem cell biology and tissue engineering for bladder regenerative applications, where the key objective is to better understand the signaling pathways and mechanisms that lead to the differentiation of stem cells toward the bladder lineages. This is a novel approach to tissue engineering of the bladder that is expected to yield morphologically accurate and functional tissue for bladder replacement. Ultimately, I intend to combine technologies from both the tissue engineering and stem cell biology fields to optimize the scalability of the bladder inductive process in vitro so that it can be adapted to larger animal models for bladder replacement.