Established methods and innovative approaches to fertility preservation in mammals
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University of Milan
Dr. Franciosi is an Assistant Professor of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Milan since 2017 and is...
Prolonged lifespan and delayed childbearing have prompted the research of reliable methods to preserve fertility for later in life. Such interventions that heavily rely on the cryopreservation of mature gametes (eggs or sperm) and embryos generally reach a satisfactory success rate. However, they are not applicable when mature gametes are not available (for instance in pediatric oncologic patients). Developing effective methods to prevent the loss of the reproductive function (or to restore it) is an emerging need for the increasing population of cancer survivors, as well as for patients with other types of gonadal insufficiency.
Besides human reproductive medicine, the development of fertility preservation techniques have found broad applications in animal husbandry and for the protection of endangered species; this is through the salvage and propagation of precious genetic resources. Finally, the scientific community greatly benefits from these new methods for fertility preservation through sharing complex transgenic animal models worldwide and the cost-effective maintenance of transgenic animal colonies.
The goal of this Methods Collection is two-fold: (1) to provide detailed state-of-the-art protocols and procedures currently in use in clinical and other ‘field’ settings; and (2) to introduce novel approaches, initially developed as research models, that have the potential to translate into field applications. Ultimately, we believe that this in-depth sharing of knowledge and techniques will improve the outcome and the safety of fertility preservation interventions and expand the array of currently available technologies.