Children born with malformation of the lower urinary tract such as urethral clap or neurogenic bladder dysfunction in connection with e.g. myelomeningocele have voiding problems and a high pressure in the urinary system. This pressure affects the bladder, which becomes thick-walled and loses its elasticity; also the kidneys are gradually affected if the condition is left untreated. Thus, there is a need for fast intervention. The pressure on the bladder is first of all relieved by a catheter or a vesicocutaneostomy. On a long term basis many of the children will undergo major reconstructive surgery installing tissue from the intestines to create a larger bladder with improved possibility for emptying.

This PhD project intends to develop an animal model to mimic the changes observed in children with the above malformations and study these changes concerning biochemical, functional and histological characteristics. Subsequently, it will be tested if there is a difference in results with treatment with vesicocutaneostomy or intermittent catherisation. The project will also study alternatives to using intestines for reconstruction due to the numerous complications and side-effects of this practice. By tissue engineering, cells from the urinary system are cultivated on a scaffold for subsequent use this complex for reconstruction of the bladder.


Lotte Kaasgaard Jakobsen, MD,