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Tissue Engineering for Penile Surgery: Comparative Study of Noncellular and Cell-Seeded Synthetic Grafts for Tunica Albuginea Replacement


Ludovic Ferretti, MD, Experimental Surgical Laboratory, UPRES 4122, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre 33000, France. Tel: 33556795535; Fax: +33 5 56 79 56 51; E-mail:


Introduction.  Surgical treatment outcomes in Peyronie's disease remain controversial because of high rates of recurrence.

Aim.  The aim of this study was to engineer in vitro a new type of tunica albuginea (TA) autologous graft obtained by culture of autologous fibroblast on a polyglycolic acid (PGA) scaffold. This engineering graft was compared with PGA with morphological and functional outcomes for TA replacement, 4 months after graft upon corpus cavernosum in a rat model.

Methods.  Thirty-nine Sprague Dawley adult male rats were divided into four groups: (i) control group (C) with resection and resuture of a 5 mm long and 2 mm large piece of original TA; (ii) PGA scaffold group (P) with the same resection of TA and suture of PGA scaffold; (iii) autologous fibroblast-seeded on PGA scaffold graft after resection of the same piece of TA (F + P); and (iv) sham group for functional and histological comparison.

Main Outcome Measure.  The main outcome measure was assessment of graft size variation at 4 months and comparison between the three test groups. The secondary objective is assessment of erectile function by measuring erectile response to cavernous nerve electrical stimulation in each group.

Results.  At 4 months, there was a significant difference in graft area retraction between the groups (P = 0.0081) with higher retraction in P group vs. in C or F + P groups. Erectile response to cavernous nerve stimulation significantly differed between the groups and was sham equivalent to C equivalent to F + P superior to P group.

Conclusions.  This study provides experimental evidence for the feasibility and the functionality of fibroblast-seeded scaffold compared with acellular graft for TA replacement. Ferretti L, Giuliani M, Bessède T, Qiu X, Zhang H, Alsaid B, Durrbach A, Giuliano F, Benoit G, and Droupy S. Tissue engineering for penile surgery: Comparative study of noncellular and cell-seeded synthetic grafts for tunica albuginea replacement. J Sex Med 2012;9:625–631.