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Hormone autocrination by vascularized hydrogel delivery of ovary spheroids to rescue ovarian dysfunctions

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Science Advances  28 Apr 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 18, eabe8873
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe8873


The regeneration potential of implantable organ model hydrogels is applied to treat a loss of ovarian endocrine function in women experiencing menopause and/or cancer therapy. A rat ovariectomy model is used to harvest autologous ovary cells while subsequently producing a layer-by-layer form of follicle spheroids. Implantation of a microchannel network hydrogel with cell spheroids [vascularized hydrogel with ovarian spheroids (VHOS)] into an ischemic hindlimb of ovariectomized rats significantly aids the recovery of endocrine function with hormone release, leading to full endometrium regeneration. The VHOS implantation effectively suppresses the side effects observed with synthetic hormone treatment (i.e., tissue overgrowth, hyperplasia, cancer progression, deep vein thrombosis) to the normal levels, while effectively preventing the representative aftereffects of menopause (i.e., gaining fatty weight, inducing osteoporosis). These results highlight the unprecedented therapeutic potential of an implantable VHOS against menopause and suggest that it may be used as an alternative approach to standard hormone therapy.

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