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Four N.C. women receive female organs engineered from own cells - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Four N.C. women receive female organs engineered from own cells

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There was a scientific breakthrough in North Carolina. Four young women are the first to receive female organs engineered from their own cells.

Using the tissue of patients, Scientist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center successfully grew female sex organs for four women.

The patient's cells were left to grow on a scaffold in the lab.

"We then create a three dimensional model that looks like the organ that would fit into that specific patient. We coat that mold with the patient's own cells. We then place the structure in an oven like device to let it cook if you will, it has the same conditions as the human body," said Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Center for Regenerative Medicine.

After the surgery, nerves and blood vessels form around the lab grown organ, and the body creates a permanent support structure for it.

The four teenage women who received the organs all had a rare genetic condition.

"Patients were born with a congenital abnormality or absence of the vaginal organs," said Dr. Atala.

Dr. Atala and his team followed the women for up to eight years and found the organs functioned normally.

Swiss scientists are also reporting a big step forward in tissue engineering. They created human cartilage from a patient's cells, rebuilding the damaged nostrils of five skin cancer patients.

With a major shortage of organs, Researchers hope their work in the lab will someday help relieve the crisis.

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