The first 3D-printed ovaries for those with fertility problems

by Angelica Basile - 2017.05.19

Excellent news for the thousands of women suffering from infertility from the Northwestern University. The first 3D-printed ovaries have been completely created in the laboratory. Scientists have moulded them using liquid gelatin derived from collagen – an essential protein found in ligaments, tendons, muscles, bone and skin. The pores on the printed surface are then filled with follicles, the bag-shaped cavities that contain the immature egg cells. Once transplanted in guinea pigs that could previously not be fertilised they have generated surprising results with perfectly healthy offspring. These are the results of a study published in the magazine Nature Communications, according to which the revolutionary discovery may also be used in humans. In particular, it offers a concrete chance of conception not only for those who struggle to remain pregnant for genetic or environmental reasons, but also and particularly for those who have had to suffer aggressive anti-cancer treatments that have undermined fertility.

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