A surgeon has made a breakthrough in a groundbreaking medical project by creating a bionic vagina out of pig intestines.
According to the Daily Star, the artificial organ will benefit women who suffer from conditions like Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, in which the vagina doesn't fully develop, or vaginal artesia, a disorder where the genital is abnormally closed or absent.
The project is led by Dr. Alexander Seifalian, who is widely known as the man the first synthetic trachea to be transplanted into a patient.
Seifalian is undertaking the venture at the London-based NanoRegMed, where he made a scaffold in the shape of a vagina. He then merges the pig's tissue and a person's own cells together. Once completed, he will place the thin, 20 micrometer scaffold into the individual in question, to allow the cells to grow faster.
"The construct will be taken from the operating theatre and inserted into the patient," Seifalian said. "It will then be integrated into surrounding tissue and be a normal organ."
The groundbreaking project will take three to five years to perfect before it can be used at a clinical level, but it all depends on its funding.
"The main problem with regenerative medicine is that medical industries are not interested in taking it on for commercialization," Seiflaian said. "They find it too expensive, risky in terms of insure or standardization of product due to living cells and its behavior."
"Personally I have made a number [of] organs including trachea, bypass graft and others but universities were not able to take it to commercialization," he added.