3D Printed Ovaries

Julie Reindl
June 30th 2017

Bones, skulls, skin cells, 3D printing plays a big role in today's medicine and its presence will continue to grow. Researchers developed a new 3D printed bioprosthesis: in vitro ovaries made of biodegradable scaffold that might one day help women struggling with infertility.

This new technique is revolutionizing the field by completely relying on 3D printing. After having successfully implanted artificial ovaries in mice, scientists succeeded in creating a more stable environment for the growing eggs, increasing their chance of survival. The 3D printer uses natural gelatin which is constructed onto glass slides. Through constant overlapping, the printer generates different interweaved patterns, such patterns are key for the success. Through its tightly build structure, mice follicles (meaning a still developing mouse egg) and its surrounding hormone producing cells are then insert in its new gelatin ovary, ready to be implanted in the mouse body - resulting in an ovulating mouse, able to give birth to a new line of offsprings.

As 3D printing holds the mechanical possibility to reproduce materials on a large scale, what will this mean for the future of human reproduction? Testing the process in species closely related to humans will be the next step for the researchers. This procedure will not only help the patients, but it will also raise questions on how our reproduction system might look like in the future.

Source: Popular Science. Image: All3DP

To learn more about the way technology radically alters our attitude towards reproduction, but also to gender, relationships and love in the 21st century, tune in on the Artificial Womb research project.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1

Be the first to comment

What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

Already a member? Login.