Step toward 'ink' development for 3-D printing a bioprosthetic ovary

January 06, 2020

For the first time, scientists identified and mapped the location of structural proteins in a pig ovary. Ongoing development of an "ink" with these proteins will be used for 3-D printing an artificial (or bio-prosthetic) ovary that could be implanted and allow a woman to have a child. Findings were recently published in Scientific Reports.

"This is a huge step forward for girls who undergo fertility-damaging cancer treatments," says senior author Monica Laronda, PhD, Director of Basic and Translational Research, Fertility & Hormone Preservation & Restoration Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Our goal is to use the ovarian structural proteins to engineer a biological scaffold capable of supporting a bank of potential eggs and hormone producing cells. Once implanted, the artificial ovary would respond to natural cues for ovulation, enabling pregnancy."

In November 2019, Dr. Laronda, with three other collaborators, received a patent for creation of an artificial ovary. So far, she and colleagues have 3-D printed an artificial ovary that they implanted into a sterile mouse. The mouse was then able to become pregnant and had live pups. These groundbreaking results were published in 2017 in Nature Communications.

"The structural proteins from a pig ovary are the same type of proteins found in humans, giving us an abundant source for a more complex bio-ink for 3-D printing an ovary for human use," says Dr. Laronda. "We are one step closer to restoring fertility and hormone production in young women who survive childhood cancer but enter early menopause as a late effect. There are still several steps to go and we are excited to test our new inks."

The methodology Dr. Laronda and colleagues used to identify and map structural proteins in an ovary can be used by scientists to investigate other organs of interest.

"We have developed a pipeline for identifying and mapping scaffold proteins at the organ level," says Dr. Laronda. "It is the first time that this has been accomplished and we hope it will spur further research into the microenvironment of other organs."
-end-
This research was supported in part by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface awarded to Dr. Laronda.

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago is conducted through the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute. The Manne Research Institute is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children's is ranked as one of the nation's top children's hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the hospital served more than 220,000 children from 48 states and 49 countries.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Related Proteins Articles from Brightsurf:

New understanding of how proteins operate
A ground-breaking discovery by Centenary Institute scientists has provided new understanding as to the nature of proteins and how they exist and operate in the human body.

Finding a handle to bag the right proteins
A method that lights up tags attached to selected proteins can help to purify the proteins from a mixed protein pool.

Designing vaccines from artificial proteins
EPFL scientists have developed a new computational approach to create artificial proteins, which showed promising results in vivo as functional vaccines.

New method to monitor Alzheimer's proteins
IBS-CINAP research team has reported a new method to identify the aggregation state of amyloid beta (Aβ) proteins in solution.

Composing new proteins with artificial intelligence
Scientists have long studied how to improve proteins or design new ones.

Hero proteins are here to save other proteins
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have discovered a new group of proteins, remarkable for their unusual shape and abilities to protect against protein clumps associated with neurodegenerative diseases in lab experiments.

Designer proteins
David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington to speak at the AAAS 2020 session, 'Synthetic Biology: Digital Design of Living Systems.' Prof.

Gone fishin' -- for proteins
Casting lines into human cells to snag proteins, a team of Montreal researchers has solved a 20-year-old mystery of cell biology.

Coupled proteins
Researchers from Heidelberg University and Sendai University in Japan used new biotechnological methods to study how human cells react to and further process external signals.

Understanding the power of honey through its proteins
Honey is a culinary staple that can be found in kitchens around the world.

Read More: Proteins News and Proteins Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.