4skin Restoration may soon be available to circumcised men to re-grow their foreskin Foregen, a U.S. company says it is close to developing a method that will allow men’s foreskins to regenerate. Foregen, is a US non-profit organisation ‘founded to research and implement regenerative medical therapies for circumcised males’. It points to research which found that circumcision leads to loss of sensation in the penis, as well as the potential for psychological damage. The procedure will help the growing number of men aggrieved about being circumcised before they had the capacity to consent to the procedure. These men – who call themselves ‘intactivists’ – are becoming increasingly vocal with their outrage at being circumcised. Many complain that they experience de-sensitivity in the head of the penis and cannot enjoy sex in the same way as their hooded peers.
Some argue there is a wealth of research showing the health benefits, from a reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases to penile cancer. Circumised men often argue circumcision can cause lifelong trauma, diminish sexual satisfaction and put children at risk of lasting physical damage. In many of the ‘intactivist’ forums, men discuss options and methods of 4skin restoration. Restoration.is carried out by creating an extra-cellular matrix, a ‘skeleton’ for tissue which provides an attachment point for cells and makes human tissue 3D. This extra-cellular matrix is then seeded with the appropriate layer of cells, in this case, stem cells that will grow into foreskin.
Foregen says it will draw together experts from the field to find a way to make men’s foreskin grow back. It will start with experiments on animals with a view to progressing to trials on humans. In 2013, the company had its first ‘breakthrough’ and was able to ‘decellularize’ bull foreskins – a process which marks the first step towards re-growing the bull’s foreskin. An organ donation organisation has now given Foregen the permission to acquire human adult foreskins – and they will carry out the same experiments on these. So far, while they may be close to regrowing foreskin tissue, it is unclear how they will regenerate peripheral nerves. Writing on its website, Foregen said: ‘In the short term, we hope to fully regenerate human foreskins. ‘Once we have accomplished that, our goal is to advance on to human clinical trials as soon as it is safe to do so.’