Scientists have used 3D-printed ovaries to successfully restore fertility for the first time in what they call “the holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine”. A female mouse’s ovaries were removed and replaced with 3D printed bioprosthetic ones using gelatin as the “ink” and using eggs from different mice — enabling it to ovulate, conceive pups and give birth, the United States researchers said.
“The pups were [also] supported by the mother’s milk — and the pups were able to give birth or sire pups of their own, so they were healthy through adulthood and [they were] fertile,” co-lead researcher Assistant Professor Monica Laronda, from Northwestern University and the Ann and Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital, said.
“There is an increased risk for these patients to display hormone insufficiencies and difficulties getting pregnant and they have a limited number of options to preserve and restore their fertility and hormone function,” Dr Laronda told ABC News. —Courtesy: Abc.net
Scientists hope to use 3D-printed ovaries to restore fertility and hormone production in women — particularly those who have undergone cancer treatment, or had childhood cancer.