Dr. Yuanyuan Zhang, assistant professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, demonstrates the process for constructing the biodegradable "scaffold" that's implanted in the procedure.
For the first time in history, scientists have successfully implanted lab-grown vaginal organs in human patients. The organs, grown with the patients’ own tissue, were implanted between June 2005 and October 2008 in four teenage girls who each lacked or had an underdeveloped vagina and uterus, the result of a rare genetic condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome. Years after the two-hour procedures, annual follow-up visits showed that the surgeries had been a success: The new organs functioned normally, including during sex, and their tissue was indistinguishable from the native tissue that had already been there. The findings offer hope not only for those with MRKH syndrome, but also for those suffering from vaginal cancers or injuries. More