Sources, Selection, and Microenvironmental Preconditioning of Cells for Urethral Tissue Engineering

Zongzhe Xuan, Vladimir Zachar, Cristian Pablo Pennisi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Urethral stricture is a common urinary tract disorder in men that can be caused by iatrogenic causes, trauma, inflammation, or infection and often requires reconstructive surgery. The current therapeutic approach for complex urethral strictures usually involves reconstruction with autologous tissue from the oral mucosa. With the goal of overcoming the lack of sufficient autologous tissue and donor site morbidity, research over the past two decades has focused on cell-based tissue-engineered substitutes. While the main focus has been on autologous cells from the penile tissue, bladder, and oral cavity, stem cells from sources such as adipose tissue and urine are competing candidates for future urethral regeneration due to their ease of collection, high proliferative capacity, maturation potential, and paracrine function. This review addresses the sources, advantages, and limitations of cells for tissue engineering in the urethra and discusses recent approaches to improve cell survival, growth, and differentiation by mimicking the mechanical and biophysical properties of the extracellular environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14074
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2022


  • keratinocytes
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • smooth muscle cells
  • uretha
  • urine-derived stem cells
  • urology


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