3D Printer Creates Functioning Ovaries, a Probable Solution to Infertile Women

Who could imagine a 3D printed ovary could release mature eggs, resulting in healthy birth? Well, this is what happened when 3D printers mimicked mice ovaries, and led the mouse to deliver healthy youngling, which later reproduced. The scientists are excited to further their experiments, and probably make the treatment available to humans in next 10 to 15 years. The remedy is being suggested for women who are infertile and have failed to respond to fertility treatments.


How Did 3D Printers Produce Healthy Ovaries?

The 3D printing technology for recreating ovary could be a future alternate to frozen eggs and IVF, allowing women to reproduce naturally with artificial ovaries inserted in their body. The 3D printed ovaries may even be an answer to females who want to conceive after recovering from critical illnesses like cancer. The scientists developed 3D printer-like device, which used replica digital imaging of the ovary, and reformed the same using gelatin or similar material. The device shot out the material in layers to resemble the ovary.
It was then introduced with live cells that would mature to become eggs, and when interacted with sperm, it could establish into an embryo. The test actually worked with mouse, showing the technique is moving in the right direction. What more, the treatment also succeeded in re-creating bone, ear, and few other organs for mice. These replicas soon had blood vessels and other essentials growing around them. If the remedy advances correctly, it may be able to create human organs as well.

Woman holding stomach

Who can benefit from the Technology?

The experimenters think that once the treatment is approved and tested on humans, it may throw light on artificially developing full organs, solving the problem of donor organs needed for transplants. As far as ovaries, the 3D printers could aid women who have hit an early menopause as well. Their active eggs or the ones from others could be implanted in the model while being attached in the body. It was taken care that the mice handled has exact replica of their ovary to avoid complications.

Pregnancy in Humans May be Possible with 3D Printers

Soon, pregnancy care may new onto new avenues, and women who wish to get pregnant, but could not earlier, may find answer to their problem, and bear young ones without having to depend on others or artificial insemination. The idea behind the innovative technology was to find suitable replacement to faulty ovary.
• The scientists started with digital image of what they needed to reproduce, and let the 3D printers complete the job of building the organ structure.

• The mice tested also were able to have normal hormone cycles, which made them nurse the young ones without interruption.

• The scaffold gelatin model had pores inducted so that when it was implanted, the blood, nutrients could reach eggs and let them grow.

The researchers presented their study to Endocrine Society conference, and aim at restoring human fertility, which could possibly work for females with Turner syndrome as well. As interesting as the treatment sounds, it can take years before human trials come into effect, and pave through a ground-breaking revelation of it being success in women.


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