Growing vaginas in a lab is now a thing
Designer vaginas are so 2013. Now it’s all about growing them in a lab.
Four young girls were implanted with Petri dish privates part of a clinical study… and they all seem to be working just fine.
The girls were all born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a rare genetic condition in which the vagina and uterus are underdeveloped or absent.
Aged 13 to 18 at the time of the surgeries (which took place between June 2005 and October 2008), eight years later the girls’ new organs are functioning normally, reports The Lancet.
The study – carried out at the HIMFG Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina – involved taking a vulvar biopsy from each patient, whose cells were then cultured. Vaginal organs were then constructed and matured in an incubator.
Atlantida-Raya Rivera, lead author and director of the study, said: ‘Tissue biopsies, MRI scans and internal exams using magnification all showed that the engineered vaginas were similar in makeup and function to native tissue.’
It is hoped similar techniques could be used to reconstruct vaginas following injury or illness