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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: March 2021

Chapter 31 - In Vitro Maturation of Germinal Vesicle Oocytes

from Section 8 - In Vitro Follicle Culture


The field of female fertility preservation is based on the ability to successfully cryopreserve ovarian tissue [1], and this can now be offered to a wide range of patients worldwide [2, 3]. Fragments of cryopreserved ovarian cortex can be thawed and autografted to an orthotopic or heterotopic site to restore fertility [4, 5]. The potential of this tissue to restore fertility would be greatly enhanced if immature oocytes contained within the tissue could be grown to mature stages within the laboratory and this would be particularly beneficial for prepubertal girls who currently have fewer options to preserve and restore their fertility than adult women [2, 3].

Cryopreserved tissue contains the most immature stage of oocyte within primordial follicles and the main aim of culturing this tissue is to support in vitro gametogenesis/growth (IVG) to develop immature oocytes entirely in vitro [6]. If this methodology could be demonstrated to be safe, it would maximize the potential of cryopreserved ovarian tissue and have many clinical applications [2, 3].