Mimicking menstruation: Device built from living tissue replicates female reproductive cycle

Screen Shot at PM
EVATAR is a book-size lab system that can replicate a woman's reproductive cycle. Each compartment contains living tissue from a different part of the reproductive tract. The blue fluid pumps through each compartment, chemically connecting the various tissues. Courtesy of Northwestern University

Scientists say they’ve made a device in the lab that can mimic the human female reproductive cycle.

The researchers hope the device, assembled from living tissue, will lead to new treatments for many medical problems that plague some women, ranging from fibroids and endometriosis to infertility, miscarriages and gynecologic cancers.

The researchers described the device Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications and dubbed it the EVATAR. The name, they say, is a play on the word “avatar.”

To create the EVATAR, the researchers used tissues from human fallopian tubes, a uterus and cervix donated by women who had undergone surgery.

The device is about the size of a paperback book. It also includes human liver tissue to filter toxins from the system.

The researchers were able to trigger the system to produce the cascade of hormones that usually occur during a woman’s 28-day reproductive cycle. The cycle culminated in the ovarian tissue releasing an egg.

The scientists hope to use the system to learn more about the basic biology of how the female reproductive tract functions.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Device Mimicking Female Reproductive Cycle Could Aid Research

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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