Urothelium is a highly specialized epithelium covering the entire urinary excretory system. Tissue engineering of this urinary tract may allow to consider its reconstruction to perform in vitro studies or in vivo replacement. Therefore, the question of specific reconstruction of the urothelium arises in order to guarantee the neotissue’s ability to act as a barrier against highly cytotoxic urine. This literature review describes the different cell types and strategies available for this reconstruction. The non-reconstruction of urothelium relies on the colonization of a biomaterial by the adjacent healthy tissue but allows only incomplete reconstruction and fibrosis. The use of autologous urothelial cells requires preliminary surgery and has not been successful enough in humans. Research has therefore focused on the use of stem cells. Adipose Derived Stem Cells (ADSCs) and Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells (BMSCs) allow the reconstruction of the smooth muscle layer, but have little effect on urothelium reconstruction. Urine Derived Stem Cells (UDSCs) and Bladder mesenchymal Stem Cells (BSCs) are very promising because they allow the achievement of a differentiated urothelium. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs) and Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) can be differentiated towards urothelial phenotype but their use is restricted by ethics.
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