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The ovary was printed on a 3D printer

Made using a 3D printer gelatin the basis for the ovary was convenient for eggs.


Human sperm and egg. (Photo By Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. / Visuals Unlimited / Corbis.)

Maturing the ovum of the mouse (mouse immature egg) printed between gelatin layers (layer A, layer B). (Photo: Northwestern University.)”

Modern medicine is actively exploring a method of three-dimensional printing: now with 3D printers already learned how to make an artificial ear (about a year ago there was an article in Nature Biotechnology), heart valves (article in Science Advances in 2015), korepodobnaya implants (Science Translational Medicine).

In a new article published recently in Nature Communications, describes the even more incredible thing: it turns out, on a 3D printer, you can print the ovary, which after transplantation into the body of the female will work as real .

Here, however, should immediately clarify that researchers from northwestern University have printed not the whole ovary as a whole – after all, this is a rather complex, multi-component body. As you know, in the ovaries of egg maturation occurs in special structures – follicles. The follicles are immersed in the connective tissue.

Monica Laronda (Monica M. Laronda) and her colleagues, using three-dimensional printing has created the connective tissue framework of the ovary: the printer is loaded with gelatin, which was obtained from collagen, a major connective tissue proteins – collagen was in the form in which it is normally present in the ovaries of animals. Then, the resulting (printed), gelatin based loaded murine follicles with eggs inside.

The point of this was to test how different laying fiber gelatin will affect the viability of the oocytes. Fiber layers laid at different angles to each other, so that different variants of the gelatin framework with different porosity.

In the most successful version of the egg remains alive for eight days – and it is these semi-ovaries transplanted to seven mice instead of their own. After the transplant, the blood vessels penetrated in the gelatinous basis, providing the follicles with nutrients and hormones, so that in the end the egg has passed all the necessary stages of development and become ready for fertilization. And when the experimental female mice provided males, three of them became pregnant and gave birth to completely healthy offspring – that is, the follicles, which themselves produce the necessary for reproduction of hormones that worked for these females, as it should.

Maybe in the future with the help of such ovaries will be possible to get rid of some forms of infertility; however, semi-ovaries will have to scale the person and make sure that the blood vessels will be able to fully provide for them in the female organism everything needed.

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