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Published: Generation of Tailored Extracellular Matrix Hydrogels for the Study of In Vitro Folliculogenesis in Response to Matrisome-Dependent Biochemical Cues!

Here, we describe a method for producing decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM) hydrogels that reflect the protein composition of the ovary. These ovarian dECM hydrogels were engineered to assess the effects of ECM on in vitro follicle growth, and we developed a novel method for selectively removing proteins of interest from dECM hydrogels. Finally, we validated the depletion of these proteins and successfully cultured murine follicles encapsulated in the compartment-specific ovarian dECM hydrogels and these same hydrogels depleted of EMILIN1. These are the first, optically clear, tailored tissue-specific hydrogels that support follicle survival and growth comparable to the “gold standard” alginate hydrogels. Furthermore, depleted hydrogels can serve as a novel tool for many tissue types to evaluate the impact of specific ECM proteins on cellular and molecular behavior.


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