Lab-Grown Penises May Be The Way of The Future

scientists successfully grew and implanted penile tissue into rabbits

by Dena Afrasiabi

Ever wished you could grow a new penis? There may be hope. Scientists at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center successfully grew rabbit penile tissue in the lab and implanted it into the rabbits' penises. The newly repaired penises functioned well enough to impregnate four out of twelve female rabbits. Although the scientists say that it may be a while before the method can be used to repair human penises, the results have made them hopeful of one day repairing severe erectile dysfunction in men for whom other therapies have not been succcessful. “Our hope is to be able to treat patients with many conditions, including congenital abnormalities of the penis, traumatic injuries, penile cancer and severe cases of erectile dysfunction that don't benefit from drug treatments,” said Dr. Anthony Atala,director of the institute and lead author of the study.

The scientists extracted cells from the penile tissue, grew them on rod-shaped collagen scaffolds and implanted the scaffolds and newly formed tissue into the rabbits' penises. About a month later, the implanted tissue was integrated into the rest of the penis, restoring full sexual function to the rabbits who received the implants. While researchers primarily focused on developing methods to help restore sexual function to men who have sustained injuries or suffer from diseases that cause erectile dysfunction, their methods may also be used for men who wish to enhance what they already have.