Artificial Ovary for Young Women With Cancer

Researchers engineered an artificial ovary, providing a new fertility opportunity for young women with cancer. The artificial ovary consists of scaffold, originating from the woman’ tissue or from donated tissue, combined with her own follicles. The scaffold allows early-stage cells to develop into functional ovarian follicles. 

The researchers experimented on donated human tissue. They used a three-day chemical process to eliminate all potential cancer cells in the tissue, leaving a “decellularized scaffold” consisting of proteins and collagens. The researchers seeded this structural matrix with early-stage follicles, which led to communication between the cells, resulting in in vitro development.

 

The researchers then transplanted a decellularized and seeded matrix into mice, which supported survival and growth of the early-stage follicles.  

The study is being presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, Spain.