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One of the Department of Urology's main research areas is developing preventative and therapeutic interventions for urinary incontinence and neurogenic bladder. Urology faculty members are involved in a number of breakthrough investigational studies, including use of stem cells for treatment of stress urinary incontinence.
Using recently developed animal models, our physicians and scientists have improved recovery of maternal birth injury and subsequent stress urinary incontinence by injecting stem cells at the site of injury. In the near future, they also plan to study the implications of aging on stress urinary incontinence and how this process can be cured by use of stem cells.
Our researchers also have created a model of stress urinary incontinence by vaginal distension in virgin mice. We have shown that recovery of continence function following vaginal distension is associated with spontaneous repair of the external urethra sphincter and reinnervation of the urethra. Department of Urology scientists plan to continue exploring the mechanisms behind the spontaneous repair and attempt to develop new preventive and treatment strategies for stress urinary incontinence.
In addition, a new comprehensive voiding dysfunction clinic is being created as part of University Hospitals Urology Institute's Pediatric Urology Center. The clinic will offer evaluation, behavioral and medication therapies, and advanced procedures, such as neuromodulation and Botox injection, to children with common wetting problems, urgency symptoms (overactive bladder), and more severe problems, such as neurogenic bladder related to spina bifida. Ongoing research through the clinic involves collaboration with the Case Western Reserve University Department of Biomedical Engineering to develop modalities for modifying the interactions between the nerves and the bladder.
Learn more about faculty research programs in this area by clicking on the faculty member's name below.