Genital Injuries

The explosive devices used in the Afghanistan war have resulted in a record number of genital and pelvic injuries, leaving warriors and their families to cope with loss of sexual function and fertility, fecal and urinary incontinence and the need for testosterone replacement. Developing regenerative medicine therapies for these injuries is a new focus of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM).

Research Significance

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) is working with AFIRM on reconstructive innovations that will improve the health and well-being of injured members of the military.

Research Approach and Goals

The goal of the research at WFIRM is to create successful approaches to reconstruct the genital and urinary organs as well as the lower abdomen.

Research Highlights and Innovation

Institute scientists are working to engineer urologic tissues to help improve reconstructive procedures, as well as to explore the use of stem cells to restore erectile function. Examples include the engineering of urine tubes, anal sphincters and genital tissue.