Project TitleEx Vivo Female Reproductive System
Track Code2013-009, 2014-004
Short Description

Advanced three dimensional model of the female reproductive tract that approximates the human hormonal response for pharmaceutical and toxicology testing

#biomedical #therapeutics #drugdiscovery #researchtool #equipment #medicaldevice #simulation #fertility


Prof. Theresa Woodruff's laboratory from Northwestern University has developed a 3D model of the female reproductive system that can be used for drug development and testing. Women are underrepresented in many clinical trials and inclusion of pregnant women can have legal and ethical ramifications. This presents a significant challenge for drug development and is an obstacle towards improving women's healthcare. The ex vivo female reproductive system is viable under laboratory conditions and approximates the menstrual cycle. These features will allow researchers to perform drug testing as well as observational studies, while avoiding the ethical issues associated with generating the same kind of data from human subjects. The implementation of this reproductive system model into pharmacological and reproductive biology studies may help contribute to an expanded understanding of how women are affected by various treatments and drive improvements in women's healthcare overall.

Tagsbiomedical, MEDICAL DEVICE: simulation, research tool: equipment, THERAPEUTICS: drug discovery, THERAPEUTICS: fertility
Posted DateApr 21, 2015 11:43 AM


Theresa K. Woodruff*

Julie Kim

Takeshi Kurita

Ji-Yong Kim

Joanna Burdette

Jie Zhu

Yuanming Xu

Yanni Yu

Yu Liu

Sevim Yildiz Arslan


  • Pharmaceutical and toxicology testing without the use of animals
  • Reproductive biology studies
  • Contraception testing


  • Uses primary human tissues instead of animal tissues
  • Approximates the human hormonal response 
  • Maintains viability over the course of the human hormonal response (28 days)


IP Status

US patent application has been filed.

Marketing Contact

Michael Moore, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847.491.4645