Project TitleBioscaffolds for Replacement Ovaries
Track Code2014-044
Short Description

Novel technique for removing cells from ovarian tissue to obtain the extracellular matrix scaffolds for organ engineering applications

#manufacture/processes #biomedical #materials #manufacturing #therapeutics #fertility


Researchers from Northwestern University have developed a technique by which cells can be removed from ovarian tissue, producing a decellularized scaffold composed of extracellular matrix. This matrix can be seeded with ovarian cells from a donor at a later date to generate a functional, implantable ovary for women afflicted by infertility or hormone insufficiency. Reproductive issues often arise as a consequence of chemotherapy or radiation during cancer treatment, with few treatment options available. Current methods to maintain reproductive health after chemotherapy are only available to women that have already undergone puberty. Further, these efforts can delay cancer treatment and ultimately cannot cure hormonal dysfunction. This innovative technique from Prof. Woodruff's laboratory may enable generation of fully functional implantable ovaries that can alleviate infertility and provide endocrine support to women suffering from various reproductive disorders. In animal studies, recellularized ovarian scaffolds have been shown to induce puberty, indicating that their endocrine function is comparable to that of the native ovary. Aside from fertility treatment applications, this technique can also be used in production of organ mimics for pharmacological studies as well as for reproductive biology research.

Tagsbiomedical, MANUFACTURE/PROCESSES, MATERIALS: manufacturing, MATERIALS: biomedical, therapeutic: fertility
Posted DateMay 7, 2015 4:41 PM


Monica Laronda

Adam Jakus

Jason Wertheim

Ramille Shah

Teresa Woodruff*


  • Fertility restoration
  • Endocrine support
  • Pharmacological screens using organ mimics


  • Fast   
  • Applicable to treatment of reproductive and hormonal disorders


IP Status

A provisional patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Dimitra Georganopoulou, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847.467.3095