Dr. Pauliina Damdimopoulou’s group focuses on reproductive toxicology and recently, they have been working on a new technique obtained from Dr. Claus Andersen’s laboratory in Copenhagen. They have been isolating structures from within the ovary called follicles, which consist of supporting and nourishing cells surrounding the growing egg.
The group has successfully modified the technique learned in Copenhagen to isolate follicles from bovine and human ovaries, specifically focusing on an area of tissue called the cortex which contains the most follicles. The next step is culturing follicles for long periods of time, such as several days or weeks, so that the effects of chemical mixtures on egg development and health can be tested. The research will increase our understanding on whether chemicals can affect women’s fertility.
A growing follicle after 5 days of culture. The egg can be seen in the centre of several layers of supporting cells.
For more information on the research team: