Mice Born from 3D Printed Ovaries Could Lead to More Fertility Options

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In Illinois, Northwestern University researchers created 3D printed ovaries and placed them in lab mice that were able to ovulate, get pregnant and give birth to baby mice. Scientists took preserved ovarian tissue from the mice and used a 3D printer and gelatin to print a complete ovary with cultured ovarian follicles, which was then transplanted into the mice. Because blood vessels formed, it allowed hormones to get into the mouse bloodstream and basically restored the female endocrine system so they could become pregnant and lactate after giving birth.

The lab scientists estimate that it will only be about 10 years from now when the 3D printed ovaries can be used in humans. Because of federal funding restrictions, they can’t actually fertilize human eggs, so for now, they are expanding their testing to pigs.