This 3-D Printed Ovary Might Help Restore Fertility

This 3-D Printed Ovary Might Help Restore Fertility

In another step forward in the world of 3-D printed tissues, US scientists report they've created a "bioprosthetic" ovary in a mouse using the technology - and the mouse has given birth to healthy pups.

For the first time ever, U.S. researchers printed an artificial ovary and implanted it in a mouse, which went on to produce eggs, mate successfully, and give birth to healthy pups.

Scientists have successfully 3D printed ovaries that not only boost hormone production and actually ovulate, but also produce healthy offspring.

Within the bodies of each mouse, explained Woodruff, the structure had become "a functionalized soft-organ transplant".

Research from Northwestern University has showcased the ability to 3D print functioning ovaries.

The study that led to the birth of healthy pups by ovarian bioprosthesis is a step closer towards restoring fertility of young women whose reproductive systems have fallen weak by cancer treatments.

"This research shows these bioprosthetic ovaries have long-term, durable function", said Teresa K Woodruff, from Northwestern's Women's Health Research Institute in the US.

James Gunn on Watchers, Infinity War and More!
Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot return to the silver screen and are again tasked with saving ... well ... the galaxy. Peter realizes that Yondu cared for him more than Ego ever would, but the bond comes a little too late (MAJOR spoiler alert).

Loranda and her colleagues initially tried to test the theory by using portions of cow ovaries, stripped down to their base components, something called a "decellularized matrix" that they seeded with mouse ovarian cells. At the same time, the material was porous enough to allow interaction with the tissues of the mouse. "Yet, we found a gelatin temperature that enables it to act naturally supporting, not crumple, and prompt building numerous layers".

They hope one day to be able to help infertile women. Now, the 3-D printer could be used as a potential infertility treatment.

The decision to use a gelatin known as a hydrogel - derived from collagen and used in other forms as a gelling agent in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics - was the key agent of success, the scientists report. "No one else has been able to print gelatin with such well-defined and self-supported geometry", said Shah.

What separates this exploration from different labs is the engineering of the framework and the material, or "ink", the researchers are utilizing, said Ramille Shah. Blood vessels from each mouse had infiltrated the scaffolds, a critical development as it provides oxygen and nutrients to the follicles, allowing hormones produced by the follicles to circulate in the blood stream. This was not only able to support its own weight, but also allowed researchers to build layers and develop the ovary's scaffold structure.

"3-D printing is done by depositing filaments", says Rutz in a statement.

Monica Laronda, a co-author on the study, said that an ovary implant could also help cancer survivors whose eggs are so damaged that they need hormone replacement therapy to trigger puberty. And they have successfully grown immature egg cells into mature ones in a lab.

The open nature of the structure influenced how follicles and immature eggs behaved, the scientists observed. "We're preparing to stun the world picture, which means each phase of the young lady's life, so adolescence through adulthood to a characteristic menopause". So by removing the follicles and not transplanting the rest the ovary, and instead using a bioprosthetic ovary, "we're hoping to minimize the likelihood of transferring disease".