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Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(8), 1536;

Technologies for the Production of Fertilizable Mammalian Oocytes

Department of Life, Health & Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Department of Anatomy, Histology, Forensic Medicine and Orthopaedics, Sapienza University, 00185 Rome, Italy
Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran 1411713116, Iran
San Raffaele Scientific Institute, IVF Unit, Department OB/GYN, Vita-Salute University, 20132 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally.
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering)
PDF [1490 KB, uploaded 13 April 2019]


Women affected by ovarian pathologies or with cancer can usually preserve fertility by egg/embryo freezing. When oocyte retrieval is not feasible, the only option available is ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation. The culture of follicles isolated from fresh or cryopreserved ovaries is considered still experimental, although this procedure is considered safer, because the risk of unintentional spreading of cancer cells eventually present in cryopreserved tissue is avoided. Animal and human small follicles can be cultured in vitro, but standardized protocols able to produce in vitro grown oocytes with the same developmental capacity of in vivo grown oocytes are not available yet. In fact, the different sizes of follicles and oocytes, the hormonal differences existing between mono- (e.g., human, goat, cow, and sheep) and poly-ovulatory (rodents and pig) species, and the incomplete identification of the mechanisms regulating the oocyte–follicle and follicle–ovary interrelationships affect the outcome of in vitro culture. From all these attempts, however, new ideas arise, and the goal of assuring the preservation of female reproductive potential appears a more realistic possibility. This review surveys and discusses advances and challenges of these technologies that, starting from a simple attempt, are now approaching the biosynthesis of a functional engineered ovary. View Full-Text
Keywords: mammals; ovary; follicle; oocyte; developmental competence; cancer; in vitro culture; 3D bioprinting; bio-scaffolds mammals; ovary; follicle; oocyte; developmental competence; cancer; in vitro culture; 3D bioprinting; bio-scaffolds

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Rossi, G.; Di Nisio, V.; Macchiarelli, G.; Nottola, S.A.; Halvaei, I.; De Santis, L.; Cecconi, S. Technologies for the Production of Fertilizable Mammalian Oocytes. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 1536.

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