Francesca Duncan, PhD, Northwestern University
Farners Amargant, PhD, Northwestern University
Aubrey Converse, PhD, Northwestern University
Emily Zaniker, BS, Northwestern University
The follicle is the functional unit of the ovary consisting of the oocyte and its surrounding companion granulosa cells. The processes of folliculogenesis and oogenesis are essential for the development of high quality gametes that can be fertilized and give rise to the next generation. Remarkably, these complex biological events can be fully recapitulated in vivo. In this webinar, we will describe a method of follicle culture that relies on encapsulation of isolated follicles in alginate hydrogels. This encapsulated in vitro follicle growth (eIVFG) system has been used successfully across multiple species, has provided unprecedented insights into follicle development and ovulation, and been applied to diverse contexts including modeling of ovarian physiology and pathology, fertility preservation, drug discovery and screening, toxicology assays, and beyond.