Tags: 3-d | printed | ovary | birth | mouse

3-D Printed 'Ovary' Allows Mouse to Give Birth

Image: 3-D Printed 'Ovary' Allows Mouse to Give Birth
(Screengrab via Twitter post)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 May 2017 02:40 PM

A 3-D printed "ovary" surgically implanted into a mouse allowed the rodent to give birth, and researchers now believe the "ovary substitutes" could one day work for humans, too.

An article in the journal Nature Communications said researchers have found a way to grow 3-D printed organs, and they’ve even tested some on humans, according to Popular Science.

After 3-D printing a biodegradable scaffold, researchers placed the mouse’s follicle cells, which are egg-producing cells naturally found in ovaries, into the scaffold, Popular Science noted. The scaffold was then surgically placed into a mouse, enabling the animal to ovulate and give birth to live young.

"This research shows these bioprosthetic ovaries have long-term, durable function," said Teresa K. Woodruff, a reproductive scientist and director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, according to a summary of the research in Science Daily. "Using bioengineering, instead of transplanting from a cadaver, to create organ structures that function and restore the health of that issue for that person, is the holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine."

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.

"Most hydrogels are very weak, since they’re made up of mostly water, and will often collapse on themselves," Shah said, according to Science Daily. "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."

"This is the first study that demonstrates that scaffold architecture makes a difference in follicle survival," Shah added. "We wouldn’t be able to do that if we didn’t use a 3-D printer platform."

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A 3-D printed "ovary" surgically implanted into a mouse allowed the rodent to give birth, and researchers now believe the "ovary substitutes" could one day work for humans, too.
3-d, printed, ovary, birth, mouse
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2017-40-17
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 02:40 PM
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