Scientists in China have developed a bionic pig penis that could potentially treat erectile dysfunction in men. They created an artificial material that mimics the elastic properties of the connective tissue that helps keep the penis erect. The material, which is made of hydrogel, was grafted onto the penises of miniature pigs, restoring their erections. The procedure was successful and the researchers believe it could one day be used to treat people with erectile dysfunction. The study was published in the journal Matter.
Approximately 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience some form of erectile dysfunction and about 5% suffer from Peyronie’s disease, a condition caused by injury during sex that involves damage to the Tunica albuginea, the fibrous sheath of penile tissue that maintains an erection. The new hydrogel material created by the Chinese scientists is capable of “rapid strain stiffening” and “high burst pressure,” making it a promising treatment for men with erectile dysfunction.
The research team, led by Dr. Xuetao Shi of the South China University of Technology, believes that this new bionic approach could also be used to treat other types of soft tissue injuries. The procedure achieved “excellent performance through structural bionic design,” according to the researchers. The next step is to test the material on other animals before moving on to clinical trials in humans.