Comparison of candidate scaffolds for tissue engineering for stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse repair




  • To identify candidate materials which have sufficient potential to be taken forward for an in vivo tissue-engineering approach to restoring the tissue structure of the pelvic floor in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

Materials and Methods

  • Oral mucosal fibroblasts were seeded onto seven different scaffold materials, AlloDerm ( LifeCell Corp., Branchburg, NJ, USA), cadaveric dermis, porcine dermis, polypropylene, sheep forestomach, porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) and thermoannealed poly(L) lactic acid (PLA) under both free and restrained conditions.
  • The scaffolds were assessed for: cell attachment using AlamarBlue and 4,6-diamidino-2phenylindole (DAPI); contraction using serial photographs; and extracellular matrix production using Sirius red staining, immunostaining and scanning electron microscopy.
  • Finally the biomechanical properties of all the scaffolds were assessed.


  • Of the seven, there were two biodegradable scaffolds, synthetic PLA and natural SIS, which supported good cell attachment and proliferation.
  • Immunostaining confirmed the presence of collagen I, III and elastin which was highest in SIS and PLA.
  • The mechanical properties of PLA were closest to native tissue with an ultimate tensile strength of 0.72 ± 0.18 MPa, ultimate tensile strain 0.53 ± 0.16 and Young's modulus 4.5 ± 2.9 MPa.
  • Scaffold restraint did not have a significant impact on the above properties in the best scaffolds.


  • These data support both PLA and SIS as good candidate materials for use in making a tissue-engineered repair material for SUI or POP.