[Experimental Biology and Medicine] Microphysiologic systems in female reproductive biology
Microphysiologic systems (MPS), including new organ-on-a-chip technologies, recapitulate tissue microenvironments by employing specially designed tissue or cell culturing techniques and microfluidic flow. Such systems are designed to incorporate physiologic factors that conventional 2D or even 3D systems cannot, such as the multicellular dynamics of a tissue–tissue interface or physical forces like fluid sheer stress. The female reproductive system is a series of interconnected organs that are necessary to produce eggs, support embryo development and female health, and impact the functioning of non-reproductive tissues throughout the body. Despite its importance, the human reproductive tract has received less attention than other organ systems, such as the liver and kidney, in terms of modeling with MPS. In this review, we discuss current gaps in the field and areas for technological advancement through the application of MPS. We explore current MPS research in female reproductive biology, including fertilization, pregnancy, and female reproductive tract diseases, with a focus on their clinical applications.
Alexandria N Young, Georgette Moyle-Heyrman, J Julie Kim, Joanna E Burdette