Mouse in-vitro spermatogenesis on alginate-based 3D bioprinted constructs
Commonly used acronym: IVS
Scope of the method
- Animal health
- Human health
- Basic Research
- In chemico
- Animal derived cells / tissues / organs
- 3D in vitro model
- 3D bioprinting
- organoid culture
- extrusion-based 3D printing
- fertility preservation
- Drug discovery
- drug development
- testicular physiology
Studying spermatogenesis in situ has led to the understanding that the 3D reorganization of testicular cells into an interstitial and tubular compartment is of enormous importance for germ cell differentiation. We will rely on 3D bioprinting technology which gives control over cell deposition and scaffold design, to recreate the compartmentalization of the testis in vitro. Testicular constructs will be produced by culturing epithelial testicular cell fractions in the macropores of bioprinted interstitial cell-laden scaffolds. We expect these biomimetic scaffolds will also support differentiation of human germ cells.
- Extrusion-based 3D printer;
- Air compressor;
- Fluorescence activated cell sorter or magnetic activated cell sorter;
- Fluorescence microscope.
- Still in development
- Published in peer reviewed journal
Pros, cons & Future potential
Allows manipulation of cell suspensions before culture to help understand the many mechanisms controlling testicular physiology and spermatogenesis, but also to discover new clinical targets.
- Requires high cell concentrations ;
- Lack of bioactivity or biocompatibility of the hydrogel ;
- Uncertainty related to the medium ingredients that drive testicular morphogenesis and spermatogenesis.
- Use of higher cell concentrations ;
- Use of alternative hydrogels ;
- Optimisation culture medium.
- Tool to study testicular physiology through cell manipulation or gene editing ;
- In vitro derived sperm of prepubertal cancer patients and adult non-obstructive patients can be used to generate offspring through assisted reproduction ;
- Cell therapy ;
- Following the incorporation into multi-organs microfluidic devices, the constructs can serve as a high-throughput screening assay in preclinical tests.
References, associated documents and other information
Baert, Y., Dvorakova-Hortova, K., Margaryan, H. & Goossens, E. (2019) Mouse in vitro spermatogenesis on alginate-based bioprinted scaffolds. Biofabrication 11, 035011
Richer, G., Hobbs, R., Loveland, Kate., Goossens, E., Baert, Y. (2021) Long-term maintenance and meiotic entry of early germ cells in murine testicular organoids functionalized by 3D printed scaffolds at the air-medium interface cultivation. Frontiers in Physiology 12, 757565
Richer et al. 2021.pdf
Contact personGuillaume Richer
OrganisationsVrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy