Cell-Free Solution for Stress Urinary Incontinence: Mayo Clinic Research Yields Promising Results

Science Saturday: Research on a cell-free treatment for stress urinary continence
Researchers at Mayo Clinic found that a substance other than cells could improve muscle function and bladder control. This research was conducted by the teams of Atta Behrfar, M.D. Ph.D. and Emanuel Trabuco M.D. in collaboration with Mayo Clinic Departments of Cardiovascular Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. The paper was published in NPJ Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Trabuco says that the surgical treatment of stress urinary continence, which affects 25 million women worldwide, has declined significantly due to concerns over negative side effects. This has caused many women to put off therapy and suffer unnecessarily. We are hoping to develop an exosome-based, minimally invasive approach to muscle repair for urinary incontinence. This will not only target the underlying causes of the condition, but also avoid the problems with the invasive surgical options currently available.\”

The team of researchers used PEP (regenerative purified excosome product), a regenerative exosome derived from platelets, to deliver messages directly into cells in preclinical models. Extracellular vesicles, or exosomes, are extracellular vesicles which are like delivery services that move cargo from one cell into another. They also have instructions to target specific tissues that require repair. According to the study, using purified exosome products can alleviate stress urinary incontinence in animals due to musculoskeletal breakdown. The team found no evidence of infection or off target toxicity when PEP was applied.


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