Sci Adv. 2022 Aug 26;8(34):eabq1456. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abq1456. Epub 2022 Aug 24.
The poor contractility of the detrusor muscle in underactive bladders (UABs) fails to increase the pressure inside the UAB, leading to strenuous and incomplete urination. However, existing therapeutic strategies by modulating/repairing detrusor muscles, e.g., neurostimulation and regenerative medicine, still have low efficacy and/or adverse effects. Here, we present an implantable magnetic soft robotic bladder (MRB) that can directly apply mechanical compression to the UAB to assist urination. Composed of a biocompatible elastomer composite with optimized magnetic domains, the MRB enables on-demand contraction of the UAB when actuated by magnetic fields. A representative MRB for a UAB in a porcine model is demonstrated, and MRB-assisted urination is validated by in situ computed tomography imaging after 14-day implantation. The urodynamic tests show a series of successful urination with a high pressure increase and fast urine flow. Our work paves the way for developing MRB to assist urination for humans with UABs.