Title: A tissue-engineered uterus supports live births in rabbits
Author: Renata S. Magalhaes, J. Koudy Williams, Kyung W. Yoo, James J. Yoo, Anthony Atala
Abstract: Bioengineered uterine tissue could provide a treatment option for women with uterine factor infertility. In large animal models, reconstruction of the uterus has been demonstrated only with xenogeneic tissue grafts. Here we use biodegradable polymer scaffolds seeded with autologous cells to restore uterine structure and function in rabbits. Rabbits underwent a subtotal uterine excision and were reconstructed with autologous cell-seeded constructs, with nonseeded scaffolds or by suturing. At 6months postimplantation, only the cell-seeded engineered uteri developed native tissue-like structures, including organized luminal/glandular epithelium, stroma, vascularized mucosa and two-layered myometrium. Only rabbits with cell-seeded constructs had normal pregnancies (four in ten) in the reconstructed segment of the uterus and supported fetal development to term and live birth. With further development, this approach may provide a regenerative medicine solution to uterine factor infertility.