Researchers create prosthetic ovary using gelatin and a 3D printer

A scientist holds a bioprosthetic mouse ovary made of gelatin with tweezers. Supplied

By removing a female mouse's ovary and replacing it with a bioprosthetic ovary, the mouse was able to not only ovulate but also 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.

It sounds simple enough, but the survival of the organs depended wholly on the specific patterning of the pores in the 3D-printed scaffolding.

The scientists created the bioprosthetic ovaries with mouse eggs that glow green so it was clear to see if mouse pups were born from the bioprosthetic ovary. The treatment could be particularly helpful for women who've had childhood cancer or have undergone cancer treatment, since these patients often display hormone insufficiencies, difficulties becoming pregnant, and have limited fertility options.

Researchers from the Institute collaborated with scientists from the McCormick School of Engineering to produce a 3D-printed structure that was embedded with ovary follicles.




Creating organs from scratch instead of transplanting them from another body is described as "the holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine" by Teresa K. Woodruff, a reproductive scientist who was involved in the work.

"The exciting part of this new discovery is that we are going to be able to build ovaries that we hope one day will help restore fertility to young cancer survivors as well as children going through puberty who have been treated with life-preserving cancer treatments but are going to be sterilised by that same treatment".

"They have managed to create a matrix in which they can embed ovarian tissue and they've then managed to implant that back in a mouse and made it work", she said. "Yet, we found a gelatin temperature that enables it to act naturally supporting, not crumple, and prompt building numerous layers". This may reduces the egg production that leaves them infertile.

This study is just one example of the possibilities afforded by 3-D printing, according to Woodruff. We chose gelatin as a material because it is relatively cheap and already has several FDA-approved uses, which can facilitate the translation of our 3D printable gelatin devices for clinical use. Using a 3D-printer and gelatin, they then printed the basic structure of the ovary, and dosed it with the cultured ovarian follicles.

Ramille Shah, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at McCormick School of Engineering, said the material - a biological hydrogel - used in the scaffold sets this 3-D structure apart from other research. Similarly, the 3-D printed "scaffold" or "skeleton" is implanted into a female and its pores can be used to optimize how follicles, or immature eggs, get wedged within the scaffold. Researchers punched out 2-millimeter circles through the scaffolds, implanted 40-50 follicles into each one, and created a "bioprosthetic" ovary. Image via Nature Communications. The scaffold supported both the immature eggs and the follicles, while allowing enough space for the eggs to mature and for the ovary to form blood vessels, letting hormones circulate and trigger lactation after birth. It also ensures there's enough space for eggs (which are some of the largest single human cells at 0.12 millimeters) to mature in. We transplanted this bioprosthetic ovary into mice, in the same location where their natural ovaries were.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Apple, Qualcomm spat intensifies, manufacturers drawn in
May 18, 2017 - 01:03
Apple and regulators claim Qualcomm abuses its market power to overcharge for "standard-essential patents" and block competition. They have continued to pay royalties for using Qualcomm's patents in non-Apple products, the filing said.

Google To Reveal Standalone Daydream VR Headset At Google I/O?
May 18, 2017 - 01:00
So why is everything so worked up about mere VR headsets? The devices will also use what Bavor called "precise tracking". Virtual reality immerses users in an artificial world and initially has been taken up most actively for gaming.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top ESPN Brings out Serena Williams, Paul Pierce to Showcase 'SportsCenter' Changes
May 18, 2017 - 00:43
He joined ESPN in November 1997 as an anchor for ESPNEWS and has served as host of NFL Live since its inception in 2003. That time slot opened up when ESPN promoted "His & Hers" co-hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill left to lead the 6 p.m.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming Kurds
May 17, 2017 - 02:31
The prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, sounded more realistic when he stated that Turkey can not possibly declare war on the U.S. Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump says 'fast decision' possible on new Federal Bureau of Investigation director
May 17, 2017 - 02:07
Garcia served as assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. attorney under former president George W. He spoke during a meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the White House.

Senate moderates hold bipartisan health care talks
May 17, 2017 - 01:49
That is why it is opposed by AARP, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association and so many more. I'll make a similar recommendation to the one a few weeks ago when I said spend store credit if you have it.

Transfer Focus: Manchester City Zabaleta announcement opens door for Bilic
May 17, 2017 - 01:41
Pep Guardiola has called on fans to roar Manchester City into the Champions League and give Pablo Zabaleta a fitting send-off. Hal Robson-Kanu will have his hamstring problem assessed but Matty Phillips will remain sidelined by his hamstring issue.

Cornyn says he will stay in Senate, won't be FBI director
May 17, 2017 - 01:37
But Democratic strategists have already put senators on notice they would hold their feet to the fire in voting against Cornyn. On Friday, protesters gathered outside of a Galleria-area restaurant where Cornyn had a speaking engagement with supporters.

Plane with New York CEO, 3 others, missing in Bahamas
May 17, 2017 - 01:34
Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company she owned, according to New York State and aviation records. A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater C-130 Hercules airplane crew searched Monday for the overdue plane.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump administration to cut funds for abortion aid overseas
May 17, 2017 - 01:32
Among the largest groups to face defunding is the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which operates in more than 150 different countries. Typically, the Mexico City Policy has only impacted funds specifically earmarked for family planning programs.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top SolarCity co-founder Lyndon Rive to leave Tesla Inc. in June
May 17, 2017 - 01:30
Much, if not all, of its original business model - much like that of Tesla - was based on receiving taxpayer subsidies and grants. SolarCity founder and cousin to Elon Musk, Lyndon Rive, announced on Monday that he will be leaving Tesla in June.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Logan gets black-and-white trailer for Noir release
May 17, 2017 - 01:28
Talking to EW during the Logan cover story, Jackman shared how nervous he was about structuring the movie around a child actor. It's also important to note that in this scene she was improvising. "I went home and I had bruises all over my arm".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jimmy Kimmel to return as host of 90th Oscars
May 17, 2017 - 01:28
The 90th Academy Awards will air live on the abc television network and broadcast outlets worldwide on March 4, next year. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took to Twitter on Tuesday to share the big news.

Trump hosting Turkey's Erdogan as tensions simmer
May 17, 2017 - 01:21
Trump made news last month by phoning Erdogan to congratulate him on a referendum in Turkey that furthered Erdogan's power. Turkey has tried to get the United States to extradite Gulen, but hasn't presented convincing evidence to US officials.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The side of McKayla Maroney you haven't seen before
May 17, 2017 - 01:10
Maroney, 21, won the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics for the vault and the gold medal in the team competition. Maroney didn't address the butt implant rumors, but it wasn't the first time she was accused of altering her body.