Scientists have successfully cultivated vaginal tissue into useable material and placed it into human patients whose own vaginas did not properly form. The patients own cells were used as the seedling, so to speak, and then used in the laboratory creation.
The methods used to grow the vaginas is believed to be one scientists should be able to use for growing even more tissue and organs in the future.
So yet again, we find ourselves face to face with technology resembling something from the world of science fiction or comic books. Remember Swamp Thing? He was a half-man-half-plant being created in a lab experiment that went horribly wrong. Aside from looking like walking cabbage, Swamp Thing could regenerate damaged parts of his body using the power of the sun. The sun isn’t needed for growing human tissue though. That process is far more complicated and expensive.
The first vagina was grown and implanted in a human eight years ago, but the research containing long-term observations was only published recently, and so far the four women receiving the lab-grown tissue have returned positive reports on the functionality of their new parts.
The new parts were grown from existing tissue cultivated in an appropriately shaped mold. The resulting growth was then transplanted into the human hosts.
The transplants have greatly impacted the lives of the women who received them, as without the surgery, they would have been physically unable to have vaginal intercourse due to previously unrepairable defects.
Since the first vagina was grown and successfully implanted, other body parts, such as nostrils, have also been successfully grown and implanted into human patients.
It is now believed growing ears, eyelids, and even knee cartilage, might also be on the horizon thanks to the success of the nose project. The vaginal growing could mean regenerating muscle tissue, and even organ tissue, should be within the realm of possibilities in the not-so-distant future.
It could be several years, and quite possibly several more beyond that, before doing this type lab work becomes economically viable and widespread in the medical community. The success of these early cases, however, does inspire optimism.
This might sound ridiculous, but it is a legitimate thought not intended to be crude in nature, but it makes one wonder whether this type of technology can be adapted for other uses. For example, in products like the Fleshlight (click at your own risk) or other similar devices one might find in the local sex shop whose manufacturers have been striving for years to make as flesh-like as possible.
Obviously there are issues in keeping the tissue ‘alive’ outside of a laboratory or human body, butt doesn’t sound that far fetched considering we can now essentially grow body parts.
The sex industry has often been credited as being a driving force behind technology in the past. Supporters of this philosophy often point to the history of the VCR, On-Demand television, and the Internet, among others, when trying to validate their claims. Admittedly others believe this theory gets way more credit than its due.
Anything is possible when there is a large profit to be made, and the sex industry, and the healthcare industry for that matter, has proven its ability to make money. Pornography alone is estimated to be a $10 billion business globally. It was estimated to be a $20 billion business in 2006, but the abundance of free online content has cut that number in half. When it comes to the sex toy market, it too has been quite lucrative. There were 5 million Fleshlights sold between 2002 and 2012, and by that time they were reportedly manufacturing 4,000 units per day.
So if there is a way to do it, you can bet it will be found eventually.
In the meantime, seeing this type of medical miracle will retain some of its integrity, and actually help humanity overcome serious afflictions.
These are incredible times we’re living in, and it’s just going to keep getting better as time moves forward.