3D printed ovaries produce healthy offspring giving hope to infertile women

Infertile women have been offered new hope after scientists 3D printed ovaries and used them to produce healthy offspring.

In a world’s first, US researchers created an artificial ovary and implanted it into a mouse, which went on to produce eggs, mate successfully, and give birth to healthy pups.

Although the procedure has only been tested on animals so far, the long term aim is to help restore fertility and hormone production in women who have undergone chemotherapy and possibly other infertility issues, such as polycystic ovaries.

Around 24,000 women of child-bearing age are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK.

“The real breakthrough here is we’re building a real ovarian prosthesis and the goal of this project is to be able to restore fertility to young cancer patients who have been sterilised by their cancer treatment,” said Dr Teresa Woodruff, a reproductive scientist director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, at Northwestern University, in Illinois.

“Right now, we’re able to do that with young mice and the goal ultimately is to provide this back to patients.

“Using bioengineering 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. Our hope is that this will be the ovary of the future.”

The prosthetic ovaries were printed using liquid gelatin made from broken-down collagen, a natural material which is found in ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones and skin, researcher reported in the journal Nature Communications.

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Image Credit: Northwestern University

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A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the orthopedic industry. Recognized by MedReps.com as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager and Distributor. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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