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Fertil Steril. 2013 May;99(6):1523-33. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.03.043.

Ovarian follicle culture: advances and challenges for human and nonhuman primates.

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Institute of Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.


The removal and cryostorage of ovarian cortical biopsies is now offered as a fertility preservation option for young women. The only available option to restore fertility using this tissue is by transplantation, which may not be possible for all patients. The full potential of this tissue to restore fertility could be achieved by the development of in vitro systems that support oocyte development from the most immature stages to maturation. The techniques of in vitro growth (IVG) combined with in vitro maturation (IVM) are being developed with human tissue, but comparing different systems has been difficult because of the scarcity of tissue so nonhuman primates are being used as model systems. There are many challenges to developing a complete culture system that would support human oocyte development, and this review outlines the approaches being taken by several groups using tissue from women and nonhuman primate models to support each of the stages of oocyte development.

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