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Using Microfluidic Technology to Engineer Mammalian Female Reproductive Cycle for Screening Chemicals' Reproductive Toxicity

Shuo Xiao, University of South Carolina

20 April 2018

Both industrial and environmental chemicals have been reported to adversely impact the female reproductive system and increase the risk of hormonal imbalance, ovarian failure, and infertility in both humans and other mammalian species. The current gold standard for testing the female reproductive toxicity of chemicals relies on the use of laboratory animals. However, in vivo models are time-consuming, costly, and harmful to animals. Dr. Xiao's lab is using the microfluidic system to engineer mammalian reproductive cycle and establish an integrated female reproductive tract chip. This organ-on-a-chip technology allows organ-organ integration of hormonal signaling, phenocopies the ovarian cycle and pregnancy-like hormone control, and has a great potential to be used in the drug discovery and toxicology studies.