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Hello everyone,

I found this on the IAS Wikipedia page and can't believe we haven't discussed this yet (seems like this particular section was edited on februari 2017):

In 2011 it was announced by the Wake Forest School of Medicine that the first bioengineered, functional anal sphincters had been constructed in a laboratory made from muscle and nerve cells, providing a solution for anal incontinence.[4][5]
The references:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110809132220.htm

http://www.wakehealth.edu/Research/WFIRM/Projects/Anal-Sphincters.htm

This was in 2011. They surely must have done more tests since then.

Also on the regenerative medicine Wikipedie page:

Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational research[1] in tissue engineering and molecular biology which deals with the "process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function".[2] This field holds the promise of engineering damaged tissues and organs by stimulating the body's own repair mechanisms to functionally heal previously irreparable tissues or organs.[3]
Basically if all else fails, we'll just create a new [insert organ]! Of course we should keep on doing the exercises and find other ways to strengthen the area, but this gives me hope for the future, just in case. Maybe they could make some kind of injection, like the bulking agents that already exist, but this one could actually do some repair.

Scientist don't care much about the IAS compared to lets say the heart. But I've seen a bunch of posts on here making comparisons in the workings of the IAS to the heart. So if scientist make decent progress on figuring out how to heal a heart, it would mean a lot to the knowledge on healing the anal canal and other organs in the digestive tract!
 

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Found this article from 2014 on nbci about regenerative cells on the anal sphincters of rats. I don't know if these techniques are already used on humans. I didn't understand everything from the text, they use a lot of medical jargon and abbrevations. I will probably go over it again a few times later.

Anyway, seems promosing:

Discussion
Regenerative medicine is a viable option for a symptomatic benign disease process, such as fecal incontinence, which occurs many years after the initial injury as it uses local tissues to regenerate the weakened or disrupted tissues in the anal canal and improve symptoms. The process of chemokine signaling has been studied by us [39]; pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine upregulation has also been studied [35].
Conclusion
Both serial i.v. infusion and i.m. injections of MSCs after PSE result in increased anal pressures. This increase was sustained over the time of the experiment and was comparable to anal pressures in the control animals that did not receive an injury. The process of increased pressures after i.v. infusions can be explained by MSCs homing to the site of injury in response to the cytokine upregulation causing a positive effect. There is a possibility of a bulking effect of an i.m. injection that needs to be explored. Healing of the injury in the control rats was seen to occur by fibrosis, and more new tissue formation was seen in the MSC-treated group. Fibrosis was less with both i.v. and i.m. MSC treatments; however, the i.v.-treated group showed less scar tissue than the i.m.-treated group. Given that MSCs delivered i.m. or i.v. resulted in functional recovery, the i.m. route may be preferable as fewer cells seem to be needed.
Also I have noticed from multiple sources that research on urethral sphincters and urinary components as a whole is more advanced or has a higher priority. Meaning that we could be looking for research on uretheral sphincters, to see what the future will hold.

Cell-based therapies have shown encouraging results in improving function in cardiac tissues [1-3] and the urinary sphincter [4-6] after a myocardial infarction and stress urinary incontinence, respectively.
 

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This confuses me.

Smooth cells have the greatest capacity to regenerate of all the muscle cell types. The smooth muscle cells themselves retain the ability to divide, and can increase in number this way.

As well as this, new cells can be produced by the division of cells called pericytes that lie along some small blood vessels.

Smooth muscle can also hypertrophy.
If so then regenerative medicine is just for subjects that can't regenerate the muscle on their own? Or is it to increase sphincter healing right after damage, like in the research with the rats?
 
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