A young woman who participated in a study for teens who could benefit from lab-engineered vaginas has spoken out on how her life has been changed, ABC News reported.
When the woman first learned of the study at 18 years old, she said she "couldn't believe it was true."
To do the procedure, researchers from Wake Forest University and the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City biopsied cells from the patients to make the organs, which they built in the lab with biodegradable scaffolds.
“For the process,” he explained, “we take a very small piece of tissue from the patient, less than half the size of a postage stamp, and we then tease the cells apart and grow the cells separately.”
"We then take a scaffold and we code the scaffold with the cells, putting one cell layer on one side layer, another cell layer on the other side, very much like making a sandwich, if you will."
After shaping the structure like the organ, it is put into an oven-like device that has the same conditions as the human body, "so that the tissue can mature before we implant it back into the patient," Atala said.
Since the operation took place eight years ago, researchers reported the subjects had normal sexual function and the organs remained "structurally and functionally normal."
Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.