Reengineering the Human Body

bladder, Taris, painful bladder syndrome
Illustration by Jonathon Rosen
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The Bladder

Interstitial cystitis – also known as painful bladder syndrome – has been known to drastically decrease a sufferer's quality of life. But developers at Taris Biomedical, in Lexington, Massachusetts, are hoping their treatment, a tiny "pretzel" made of silicone that floats in the bladder and releases local anesthetic, will help relieve the chronic pain and frequent urination patients endure. The company, which raised $15 million in June, hopes to begin trial treatments in early 2010.