17 May 2017

Bioengineered ovaries and natural mice

Scientists have printed working ovaries on a 3d printer

American doctors transplanted ovaries printed on a 3D printer to mice, after which they carried out, gave birth and fed healthy mice.

A group from Northwestern University in Chicago, led by Ramil Shah, studied the three-dimensional structure of mouse ovaries and printed on a 3D printer a similar porous "framework" of gelatin, which was "seeded" with mouse follicles. After transplanting an artificial ovary to seven sterilized females, the new organ became overgrown with blood vessels, ovulation occurred in mice and a yellow body was formed.

Ovarian material printed on a 3D printer. Photo: Shah et al., 2017

After the usual mating, three of the seven animals became pregnant and healthy cubs were born, which were fed by the mothers themselves. These mice, in turn, also brought healthy offspring. According to scientists, they did not have to use any additional hormones, blood vessel growth stimulators, or any other reproductive technologies like embryo transplantation - after ovarian implantation, the whole process went naturally.

The authors of the study hope that with the help of such artificial ovaries, one day it will be possible to restore fertility and the normal functioning of the female reproductive system, including the release of hormones, for example, after cancer treatment, both in girls and in adult women. In theory, such an ovary with follicles taken from the patient before treatment will be able to work until the onset of menopause.

Among other things, scientists were able to show that the exact geometry of the printed "frame" for the ovary directly affects the maturation of the follicles in it and, as a result, the fertility of the female. As noted in the annotation to the article in the journal, so far the method proposed by scientists works only for mice – human follicles are much larger and greatly increase in size during maturation, so it is not yet clear whether the "framework" developed by the researchers is suitable for them.

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  17.05.2017

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