Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

3D culture applied to reproduction in females: possibilities and perspectives

Giuliana de Avila Ferronato; Franciele Flores Vit; Juliano Coelho da Silveira

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Abstract: In vitro cell culture is a well-established technique present in numerous laboratories in diverse areas. In reproduction, gametes, embryos, and reproductive tissues, such as the ovary and endometrium, can be cultured. These cultures are essential for embryo development studies, understanding signaling pathways, developing drugs for reproductive diseases, and in vitro embryo production (IVP). Although many culture systems are successful, they still have limitations to overcome. Three-dimensional (3D) culture systems can be close to physiological conditions, allowing greater interaction between cells and cells with the surrounding environment, maintenance of the cells' natural morphology, and expression of genes and proteins such as in vivo. Additionally, three-dimensional culture systems can stimulated extracellular matrix generating responses due to the mechanical force produced. Different techniques can be used to perform 3D culture systems, such as hydrogel matrix, hanging drop, low attachment surface, scaffold, levitation, liquid marble, and 3D printing. These systems demonstrate satisfactory results in follicle culture, allowing the culture from the pre-antral to antral phase, maintaining the follicular morphology, and increasing the development rates of embryos. Here, we review some of the different techniques of 3D culture systems and their applications to the culture of follicles and embryos, bringing new possibilities to the future of assisted reproduction.


In vitro embryo, follicles, mechanotransduction, 3D culture system, tissue tension


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