Project TitleModulation of Oocyte Meiotic Progression through Manipulation of Zinc Availability
Track Code2011-100
Short Description

A novel mechanism to help guide arrested oocytes through meiotic division.

#therapeutics #fertility


Northwestern researchers have discovered and developed a novel way to improve the outcome of assisted reproductive technology (ART).  They found that zinc plays a critical and previously unrecognized role in the control of meiotic progression in the mammalian oocyte.  By manipulating zinc availability, primarily through chelation, they show that an arrested egg can be activated and resume the cell cycle.  This invention involves the use of zinc chelation, via intracellular, extracellular or substrate-attached chelators, to limit zinc availability and promote progression through specific meiotic arrest points.  The utilization of these zinc-based tools could potentially lead to the production of fertilizable gametes in cases where oocytes collected are arrested and would currently be considered unusable with existing technologies.

TagsTHERAPEUTICS: fertility
Posted DateNov 30, 2011 10:54 AM


Teresa K. Woodruff
Thomas V. O'Halloran
Miranda L. Bernhardt
Betty Y. Kong
Alison M. Kim


  • Assisted Reproductive Technology
    • Oocyte in vitro maturation
    • In vitro fertilization
    • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
  • Veterinary Reproduction
  • Livestock Production


  • Salvages gametes that are considered unusable by current technologies
  • Non-invasive
  • Inexpensive


IP Status

A patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Mike Moore, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847-491-4645