A tissue-engineered suburethral sling in an animal model of stress urinary incontinence

Tracy W Cannon, Danielle D Sweeney, Deidre A Conway, Izumi Kamo, Naoki Yoshimura, Michael Sacks, Michael B Chancellor
BJU International 2005, 96 (4): 664-9

OBJECTIVE: To create and evaluate the functional effects of a tissue-engineered sling in an animal model of stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four equal groups: a control group (C) had no intervention before the leak-point pressure (LPP) was measured; a denervated group (D) had bilateral proximal sciatic nerve transection (PSNT) and periurethral dissection with no sling placed; group S had concomitant bilateral PSNT and a suburethral sling of small intestinal submucosa (SIS) placed; and group (M) had concomitant bilateral PSNT with implantation of a tissue-engineered sling. The suburethral sling was placed via a transabdominal approach with the sling sutured to the pubic bone. Tissue-engineered slings were prepared with muscle-derived cells obtained via the pre-plate technique and subsequently seeded for 2 weeks on a SIS scaffold. Suburethral slings were implanted 2 weeks before LPP testing, using the vertical-tilt method.

RESULTS: Surgically placing a suburethral sling is feasible in the female rat, with few complications. LPPs from both sling groups (S and M) were not significantly different from untreated controls (C). The S, M and C groups all had significantly higher LPPs than group D. Importantly, no rat from either sling group (S and M) had signs of urinary retention.

CONCLUSIONS: Placing tissue-engineered slings in an animal model of SUI resulted in LPP values that were not significantly different from those in untreated control or SIS (S) groups. These data show that incorporating muscle stem cells into SIS slings does not adversely alter the advantageous mechanical properties of the SIS sling in a model of SUI, and provide the basis for future functional studies of tissue-engineered sling materials with long-term retention.

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