Chinese researchers have successfully treated erectile dysfunction in pigs with the help of artificial tissues. The development is being considered a breakthrough in treatment for men facing the same issue.
Damage to tunica albuginea, a layer of connective tissue that surrounds the spongy corpora cavernosa, which fills with blood during an erection, can result in erectile dysfunction.
Scientists at the South China University of Technology used isotropic polyvinyl alcohol gel to create an artificial tunica albuginea. They first tested the strength of artificial tissues using a weighted balloon.
They then treated the pigs with damaged tunica albuginea. Erectile dysfunction was reversed after the tissues were injected with saline. Almost a month later, the pigs showed no signs of erectile dysfunction.
Sharing his thoughts on the development, Xuetao Shi, a Professor of Tissue Engineering at a Chinese university, said, “We were surprised by the results in the animal experiments, where the genital regained normal erection immediately.”
“Our work at this stage focuses on the repair of a single tissue in the genital, and the next stage will be to consider the repair of erectile dysfunction or the construction of an artificial genital from a holistic perspective” Shi added.