At the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Boston this month, a team of scientists presented on a groundbreaking study in which 3D printed ovaries were able to produce healthy offspring. In the pilot study which was performed on mice, the ovaries of the subjects were removed and replaced with the 3D printed ovaries. The mice were able to deliver healthy pups and nurse without any trouble.
After the success of the animal trials, the researchers are now looking to how these printed organs would work in humans. The prostheses would need to be rigid enough to be implanted during surgery, but flexible enough to allow eggs to develop.A gelatin-based scaffolding would have to be built, and implanted with cells cultured from humans, including follicles that produce estrogen and can contain the structures that will mature into eggs. If these bioprosthetics are successful, they could potentially cure both the hormonal and egg-producing causes of infertility.
(Source: Popular Science)