An experimental study between laboratories in North Carolina and Mexico City has made history by becoming the first to successfully grow a vagina.
The study at the HIMFG Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina involved taking a vulvar biopsy from each patient, whose cells were then cultured. Vaginal organs were then constructed and matured in an incubator before being implanted into four young girls who suffer from the rare Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome.
The genetic condition in which the vagina and uterus are underdeveloped or absent.
“Tissue biopsies, MRI scans and internal exams using magnification all showed that the engineered vaginas were similar in make-up and function to native tissue,” said Atlantida-Raya Rivera, lead author and director of the study.