Female tissue tests enhanced
Australian researchers have come up with a new way to grow natural tissue for female reproductive system reconstruction.
Researchers at the University of Newcastle have developed a ground-breaking technology to culture natural tissue from female foetal fallopian tubes and uteri, potentially paving the way to help women born with reproductive abnormalities to attain normal function through the growth of their own cells.
One of the fascinating events in human development is the transformation of Mullerian ducts, a set of simple and uniform tubes, into spatially restricted and highly complex reproductive organs.
This process occurs in a relatively short window of time during foetal development, however any irregularities result in females born with missing or defective organs.
With thousands of reproductive repair surgeries performed every year, Professor Pradeep Tanwar and his research have been committed to unravelling the mysteries of human reproductive tract development.
Their latest findings are published in the journal PNAS.
To create the natural tissue the researchers successfully grew organoids - tiny, self-organised three-dimensional tissue cultures that are derived from stem cells, in this instance, from human foetal fallopian tubes and uteri.
In growing the organoids, the team replicated what occurs in nature by studying the key stages of human foetal development, where the female reproductive tract is progressively derived from the growth and fusion of the two Mullerian ducts.
They discovered grafting these foetal organoids onto scaffolds, prepared from native adult tissue taken from a patient, could regenerate normal tissue, ex-vivo.
The finding could lead to reconstructive surgeries being performed on patients with reproductive abnormalities through growing their own cells.
Professor Tanwar said there was a huge variety of reproductive abnormalities and a need to improve how these are rectified to benefit quality of life.
“Our study has laid the foundation for growing patients' own cells and using them for regenerative surgeries to reduce future complications and improve the quality of life for these patients,” Professor Tanwar said.