Restoring fertility with 3D printers

We’ve become pretty good at treating certain types of cancer—particularly in kids. Eighty percent of children under 18 are now beating their various malignancies for at least the first five years, compared with less than 10 percent in the 1950s. But female survivors often face a common problem when they grow up: Their harsh cancer treatments have left their ovaries barren. So reproductive biologist Monica Laronda and biomedical engineer Alexandra Rutz of Northwestern University set out to build them new ones. They designed a 3D-printed prosthetic ovary that can grow healthy eggs. Their secret is scaffolding, which is made of 3D-printed gelatin, and holds ovarian follicles that secrete hormones and contain the structures that develop into eggs.”

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