Today, current cancer treatments have been able to save roughly 80% of kids who have the disease, but the harsh treatments often leave many female survivors with the inability to have children later in life, making this reproductive organ prosthetic all the more revolutionary.
Reproductive biologist Monica Laronda and biomedical engineer Alexandra Rutz have be designed a 3D-printed prosthetic ovary for such cases. According to Popular Science "Their secret is scaffolding, which is made of 3D-printed gelatin, and holds ovarian follicles that secrete hormones and the structures that develop into eggs".
The 3D-printing is still in the testing and development stages, but the goal is to be able to create the structure for human sized ovaries capable of developing eggs. While cancer treatments today are capable of saving most children, soon these 3D-printed reproductive organs will enable those survivors to have children of their own.