The explosive devices used in the Afghanistan war have resulted
in a record number of genital and pelvic injuries, leaving warriors
and their families to cope with loss of sexual function and
fertility, fecal and urinary incontinence and the need for
testosterone replacement. Developing regenerative medicine
therapies for these injuries is a new focus of the Armed Forces
Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative are
working to engineer urologic tissues to help improve reconstructive
procedures, as well as to explore the use of stem cells to restore
erectile function. Examples include the engineering of urine tubes,
anal sphincters, and genital tissue.