In conventional assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), oocytes are in vitro cultured in static conditions. Instead, dynamic systems could better mimic the physiological in vivo environment. In this study, a millifluidic in vitro oocyte maturation (mIVM) system, in a transparent bioreactor integrated with 3D printed supports, was investigated and modeled thanks to computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and oxygen convection-reaction-diffusion (CRD) models. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) from slaughtered lambs were cultured for 24 h under static (controls) or dynamic IVM in absence (native) or presence of 3D-printed devices with different shapes and assembly modes, with/without alginate filling. Nuclear chromatin configuration, mitochondria distribution patterns, and activity of in vitro matured oocytes were assessed. The native dynamic mIVM significantly reduced the maturation rate compared to the static group (p < 0.001) and metaphase II (MII) oocytes showed impaired mitochondria distribution (p < 0.05) and activity (p < 0.001). When COCs were included in a combination of concave+ring support, particularly with alginate filling, oocyte maturation and mitochondria pattern were preserved, and bioenergetic/oxidative status was improved (p < 0.05) compared to controls. Results were supported by computational models demonstrating that, in mIVM in biocompatible inserts, COCs were protected from shear stresses while ensuring physiological oxygen diffusion replicating the one occurring in vivo from capillaries.

Investigating and Modelling an Engineered Millifluidic In Vitro Oocyte Maturation System Reproducing the Physiological Ovary Environment in the Sheep Model

Cacopardo L.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

In conventional assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), oocytes are in vitro cultured in static conditions. Instead, dynamic systems could better mimic the physiological in vivo environment. In this study, a millifluidic in vitro oocyte maturation (mIVM) system, in a transparent bioreactor integrated with 3D printed supports, was investigated and modeled thanks to computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and oxygen convection-reaction-diffusion (CRD) models. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) from slaughtered lambs were cultured for 24 h under static (controls) or dynamic IVM in absence (native) or presence of 3D-printed devices with different shapes and assembly modes, with/without alginate filling. Nuclear chromatin configuration, mitochondria distribution patterns, and activity of in vitro matured oocytes were assessed. The native dynamic mIVM significantly reduced the maturation rate compared to the static group (p < 0.001) and metaphase II (MII) oocytes showed impaired mitochondria distribution (p < 0.05) and activity (p < 0.001). When COCs were included in a combination of concave+ring support, particularly with alginate filling, oocyte maturation and mitochondria pattern were preserved, and bioenergetic/oxidative status was improved (p < 0.05) compared to controls. Results were supported by computational models demonstrating that, in mIVM in biocompatible inserts, COCs were protected from shear stresses while ensuring physiological oxygen diffusion replicating the one occurring in vivo from capillaries.
2022
Mastrorocco, A.; Cacopardo, L.; Temerario, L.; Martino, N. A.; Tridente, F.; Rizzo, A.; Lacalandra, G. M.; Robbe, D.; Carluccio, A.; Dell'Aquila, M. E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1213957
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