This 3-D Printed Ovary Might Help Restore Fertility

Posted May 17, 2017

The research project removed the ovaries from a female mouse and replaced them with a 3D printed bioprosthetic ovary, by doing so the mouse was able to ovulate and even reproduce.

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

Replacing the ovaries of female mice with prosthetic ones, ...

Hydrogels are a mixture of 99 percent water and a little bit of polymer, which means they can tend to be quite soft, but the Northwestern team was able to manipulate their gelatin ink to give it a flexible but firm quality. She hopes this new research, a collaboration with other scientists including Ramille Shah, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at McCormick School of Engineering, will result in a way to restore fertility in women who underwent life-preserving cancer treatments that rendered them sterile.

Dr. Anthony Atala, the director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, said the nice thing about the new study is that the researchers proved their 3-D printed bioprosthesis could include follicles and so preserve the functionality. "Using bioengineering, instead of transplanting from a cadaver, to create organ structures that function and restore the health of that tissue for that person, is the holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine", she said. The researchers realized that whatever framework they made should have been made of natural materials that were sufficiently inflexible to be taken care of amid surgery and sufficiently permeable to normally collaborate with the mouse's body tissues. "But we found a gelatin temperature that allows it to be self-supporting, not collapse, and lead to building multiple layers". "No one else has been able to print gelatin with such well-defined and self-supported geometry". We were just trying to get the ovaries to function and get the animals to go through cycle.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

To survive, the follicles need to be held in a particular way in the 3-D environment. Depending on the distance between the logs, the structure changes to build a window or a door, etc.

A 3-D printed ovary allowed an infertile mouse to naturally mate and then go on to give birth to two pups of their own according to new research published Tuesday in Nature Communications. Credit Northwestern University Fienberg School of Medicine
This 3-D Printed Ovary Might Help Restore Fertility

There's more on how 3-D printing works in medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

We recently asked you to support our journalism.

"Each organ has a skeleton", said Woodruff, who likewise is the Thomas J. Watkins Memorial Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an individual from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. "We learned what that ovary skeleton looked like and used it as model for the bioprosthetic ovary implant".

In a building, the platform underpins the materials expected to fix the working until it's in the long run evacuated. The solution came in the form of a gelatin seeded with immature eggs. The mice that gave birth also lactated naturally, which demonstrated that the follicles embedded in the scaffolds produced normal levels of hormones.

The all-female McCormick-Feinberg coordinated effort for this exploration was "exceptionally productive", Shah stated, adding that it was motivational to be a piece of an all-female group doing research towards discovering answers for female medical problems.

"What really makes a collaboration work are the personalities and being able to find the humor in the research", Shah said.