Infertility in women is a health priority. Designing a robust culture protocol capable of attaining complete follicle growth is an exciting challenge, for its potential clinical applications, but also as a model to observe and closely study the sequence of molecular events that lie behind the intricate relationship existing between the oocyte and surrounding follicle cells. Here, we describe the procedures used to maintain the ovarian follicle 3D architecture employing a variety of in vitro systems and several types of matrices. Collagen and alginate are the matrices that led to better results, including proof-of-concept of full-term development. Pioneer in its kind, these studies underlie the drawbacks encountered and the need for a culture system that allows more quantitative analyses and predictions, projecting the culture of the ovarian follicle into the realm of tissue engineering.
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