Teresa K. Woodruff

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Oocytes grown in vitro are of low quality and yield few live births, thus limiting the ability to store or bank the ova of women wishing to preserve their fertility. We applied tissue engineering principles to the culture of immature mouse follicles by designing an alginate hydrogel matrix to maintain the oocyte's 3- dimensional (3D) architecture and(More)
BACKGROUND Young female adult and adolescent cancer patients facing life-preserving but fertility-threatening chemo- or radiation-therapy are increasingly seeking options to protect their reproductive potential. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation with transplantation is a promising technique to safeguard fertility in cancer patients. However, this method may(More)
In vitro ovarian follicle cultures may provide fertility-preserving options to women facing premature infertility due to cancer therapies. An encapsulated three-dimensional (3-D) culture system utilizing biomaterials to maintain cell-cell communication and support follicle development to produce a mature oocyte has been developed for the mouse. We tested(More)
The mechanical properties and density of natural and synthetic extracellular matrices are known to affect cellular processes and regulate tissue formation. In this report, these factors were independently investigated for their role in ovarian follicle development. The matrix composition was controlled through decreasing the solids concentration or the(More)
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive disruptions warrant evaluation of the impact of EDCs on(More)
The availability of viable oocytes is the limiting factor in the development of new reproductive techniques. Many attempts have been made to grow immature oocytes in vitro during recent decades. Recently, a modified alginate-based three-dimensional culture system was designed to support the growth and maturation of multilayered secondary follicles. This(More)
The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a prominent role in ovarian function by participating in processes such as cell migration, proliferation, growth, and development. Although some of these signaling processes have been characterized in the mouse, the relative quantity and distribution of ECM proteins within developing follicles of the ovary have not been(More)
Cellular metal ion fluxes are known in alkali and alkaline earth metals but are not well documented in transition metals. Here we describe major changes in the zinc physiology of the mammalian oocyte as it matures and initiates embryonic development. Single-cell elemental analysis of mouse oocytes by synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM)(More)
Activins and inhibins, members of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, are involved in diverse physiological and developmental processes. We have previously shown that mice deficient in alpha-inhibin develop gonadal sex cord-stromal tumors at an early age. The tumor development is rapidly followed by a wasting syndrome that includes severe(More)
BACKGROUND Female cancer patients are offered 'banking' of gametes before starting fertility-threatening cancer therapy. Transplants of fresh and frozen ovarian tissue between healthy fertile and infertile women have demonstrated the utility of the tissue banked for restoration of endocrine and fertility function. Additional methods, like follicle culture(More)