The team of scientists will be able to reconstruct organs from patients’ own cells, explained the Washington Post. In the lab, scientists will be able to bioengineer new members by creating a “scaffold” from a donor organ and then over the few weeks that it takes for that process to complete, cells can be cultivated from whatever is left of the patient’s original member. When the time is right, the “scaffold” is “seeded with these cultivated cells.” Until this process is completely tested and approved, men who need new members are left with no other choice than to accept a rudimentary alternative that involves prosthetic implants which are covered with arm or thigh skin.
Researchers have already lab engineered six penises in all and they are said to be ready for “transplantation.” All that is needed is an approval for trials to be granted. The hope is that transplantation will help many men the world over who suffer from congenital abnormalities and other issues.
The researchers at Wake Forest are among the best in the world of regenerative medicine, having already bioengineered and successfully implanted bladders and vaginas. The researchers are now working on bioengineering 30 other different organs and body tissues for humans including 3-D printed kidneys. This is a technique they have dubbed bioprinting.
If you are wondering if lab grown penises will become available for sexual reassignment surgeries, the answer seems to be no. Part of the lab process requires that erectile cells be available as seed for the scaffold, reported Refinery29.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com