In vitro maturation of oocytes via the pre-fabricated self-assembled artificial human ovary

Stephan P. Krotz, Jared C. Robins, Toni Marie Ferruccio, Richard Moore, Margaret M. Steinhoff, Jeffrey R. Morgan, Sandra Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: Create a 3-Dimensional artificial human ovary to mature human oocytes. Methods: Theca and granulosa cells were isolated from antral follicles of reproductive-aged women, seeded into micro-molded gels and self-assembled into complex 3D microtissues. Immunohistochemistry and live-dead staining confirmed theca cell identity and cellular viability at one week respectively. Placement of granulosa cell spheroids or cumulus-oocyte complexes into theca cell honeycomb openings resulted in creation of an artificial human ovary. Oocytes from this construct were assessed for polar body extrusion. Results: Theca and granulosa cells self-assembled into complex microtissues, remaining viable for one week. At 72 h after artificial human ovary construction, theca cells completely surrounded the granulosa spheroids or COCs without stromal invasion or disruption. Polar body extrusion occurred in one of three COCs assessed. Conclusions: An artifical human ovary can be created with self-assembled human theca and granulosa cell microtissues, and used for IVM and future oocyte toxicology studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-750
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • Artificial ovary
  • In vitro maturation
  • Oocytes
  • Self-assembly
  • Theca cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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