Scientists have taken further steps in creating an artificial ovary that could one day be used to help women who have been left infertile after cancer treatment.
Researchers from Copenhagen, Denmark, took ovarian tissue from cancer patients and stripped it of cells. They then transplanted this structure into mice and found that it could support the survival and growth of the follicles. Twenty follicles were transplanted in and a quarter of them survived for at least three weeks.
It is hoped that this artificial ovary could be implanted back into women and restore their fertility after cancer treatment.
“This is the first time that isolated human follicles have survived in a decellularized human scaffold,” said Susanne Por, who presented the work at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Barcelona.