Project Title3D Printed Artificial Ovaries
Track Code2014-045
Short Description

Novel 3D printed artificial ovaries to help restore fertility and hormonal dysfunction #biomedical #materials #manufacturing #therapeutics #fertility 


Northwestern researchers have developed the ability to 3D print artificial ovaries that can support follicle growth and maturation. The scaffold design and porosity can be easily manipulated by varying the extracellular matrix makeup and the method by which the ovary is printed, ultimately creating the optimal biomimetic scaffolds. The structure can also be modified post-printing to enhance and tailor mechanical properties in the ovary. Once cells are seeded onto the construct and cultured, the 3D printed ovaryexhibits long-term support for follicle health. Mice with transplanted 3D printed ovaries gave birth to two generations of healthy pups, exhibiting the ability of the ovaries to support endocrine function and promote oocyte development. Current strategies for gonadal dysfunction, which include egg banking, embryo banking, and in vitro oocyte maturation, are time-consuming and unsuitable for hormone-responsive cancer patients and pre-pubertal patients. Further, they do not provide endocrine support. Northwestern researchers have created highly customizable 3D printed artificial ovaries which can offer both restoration of fertility and endocrine function. 

Tagsbiomedical, materials, MATERIALS: biomedical, MATERIALS: manufacturing, THERAPEUTICS: fertility
Posted DateApr 19, 2017 5:26 PM


Teresa Woodruff*

Ramille Shah

Monica Laronda

Alexandra Rutz


• Fertility restoration 

• Endocrine support 

• Pharmacological screens using organ mimics 


• Fast: current strategies of egg or embryo banking takes over 1 month 

• Able to control scaffold architecture as well as cellular and material composition 


Laronda MM, Jakus AE, Whelan KA, Wertheim JA, Shah RN, Woodruff TK (2015) Initiation of puberty in mice following decellularized ovary transplantBiomaterials, 50: 20-29. 

IP Status

PCT Application has been filed

Contact Information

Nicole Janovick, PhD, JD

Invention Manager

(p) 847.467.0320