Embryology

One of the challenges of modern society is being able to synchronize our own socio-economic context with the biological clock in order to find the most appropriate moment to become parents. Reproductive medicine professionals have been warning about the importance of women awareness about the acute decrease of fertility right before their mid-30s. Should they be fully aware, it would be possible for them to better plan their motherhood by preserving oocytes at young age. However, there are news on…

Currently, there are many research lines focused on the improvement of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) and the development of new ones that guarantee new reproductive options for patients. Among the most recent investigated topics there are some worth to mention, like 3D-printed ovaries, stem cells-derived gametes or the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology for embryos. All these promising approaches have opened new paths of research in ART, too. Recently, a paper has been published reporting functional human eggs grown in the laboratory for the first time.The study was carried out by McLaughlin and colleagues from University of Edinburgh (UK), whose research focuses on the mechanisms of follicle development. As part of the procedure, ovarian samples were collected from 10 women, aged between 25 and 39, who were undergoing elective caesarean section. Tissue pieces that showed no damage or abundant stromal tissue were dissected in the laboratory. A total of 87 fragments with follicles of a mean diameter of 40 μm were cultured for 8 days at 37°C in humidified air with 5% CO2 and renewing half the media every two days. Secondly, the growing follicles (presumably secondary follicles) were mechanically dissected and cultured indiv

Human reproduction has benefited from the possibilities offered by cryopreservation as much as any other discipline, in particular with the latest use of vitrification as opposed to slow freezing techniques (1). The increased efficiency of different techniques has progressively led to a “freeze-all” strategy within last years, which supports an improvement in clinical outcomes. Current social trends imply a significant delay in the age of motherhood. There are a variety of factors to explain such shifts in demographic charts. However, not only social freezing has popularised the use of vitrification for female gametes; the reality is that research on oocytes, donor banks, or fertility preservation treatments in cases of cancer are possible thanks to cryopreservation. Considering the efficiency of vitrification over slow-rat

Figure 1. A scientist holds a bioprosthetic mouse ovary made of gelatin with tweezers.(1) One of the scientific advances made in recent years is 3D printing of human organs. The creation of an organ from a suitable material often allows medical doctors to decide on the best way to perform a surgical procedure. In addition, it opens up new possibilities for the use of 3D printing technologies in organ transplant programs. Now, researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick…