UroTiss Europe GmbH, a biotech company with headquarters in Dortmund, Germany, has developed an innovative and gentle method for the surgical repair of urethral strictures.
Using an autologous cell transplant (Mukocell®), the patient’s own cells are used to treat the urological disease. The replacement tissue emerged as a result of the company’s own research and development and is the world’s first tissue engineering product in the urology field that is based on the patient’s own cells.
The reconstruction of the urethra with MukoCell is a gentle alternative to conventional transplantation with native oral mucosa.
It is no longer necessary to remove larger pieces of oral mucosa from the patient’s oral cavity for reconstruction of the affected urethra. This eliminates the side effects and complications associated with the removal of the oropharynx – the part of the pharynx between the soft palate and the hyoid bone. The tissue replacement bred from the patient’s own cells has already been successfully used in over 200 patients at more than ten clinics in Germany.
Benefits for urological therapy
The use of laboratory-grown mucosal gland transplants in the treatment of urethral stenosis offers significant benefits, including:
- There is now no need to remove large areas of the oral mucosa;
- All possible complications that may be associated with the removal of oral mucosa from the cheek of the patient are avoided;
- The use of an autologous cell transplant reduces the duration of surgery and thus the duration of anaesthesia;
- Natural resistance to urine;
- Mechanical stability and the strong possibilities of adaptation in size and shape; and
- Following transplantation, it develops into a fully functional urethral tissue.
The autologous cell graft from cells of the oral mucosa is the first tissue replacement in the field of tissue engineering in urology. Tissue engineering is the artificial production of biological tissue through the cultivation of cells. The tissue is used to replace or regenerate the diseased tissue in a patient. For this purpose, cells are usually removed from the patient and propagated in the clean room laboratory. Depending on the cell type, these can be cultivated on so-called ‘carrier substances’ (structural framework).
Tissue engineering products belong to the group of advanced therapy medicinal products and are one of the application examples for regenerative and personalised medicine.
The company is supported by the EU under the Horizon 2020 program.