Advanced bioengineering of male germ stem cells to preserve fertility

Hossein Eyni, Sadegh Ghorbani, Hojjatollah Nazari, Marziyeh Hajialyani, Sajad Razavi Bazaz, Mahdi Mohaqiq, Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani, Duncan S Sutherland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review


In modern life, several factors such as genetics, exposure to toxins, and aging have resulted in significant levels of male infertility, estimated to be approximately 18% worldwide. In response, substantial progress has been made to improve in vitro fertilization treatments (e.g. microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (m-TESE), intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and round spermatid injection (ROSI)). Mimicking the structure of testicular natural extracellular matrices (ECM) outside of the body is one clear route toward complete in vitro spermatogenesis and male fertility preservation. Here, a new wave of technological innovations is underway applying regenerative medicine strategies to cell-tissue culture on natural or synthetic scaffolds supplemented with bioactive factors. The emergence of advanced bioengineered systems suggests new hope for male fertility preservation through development of functional male germ cells. To date, few studies aimed at in vitro spermatogenesis have resulted in relevant numbers of mature gametes. However, a substantial body of knowledge on conditions that are required to maintain and mature male germ cells in vitro is now in place. This review focuses on advanced bioengineering methods such as microfluidic systems, bio-fabricated scaffolds, and 3D organ culture applied to the germline for fertility preservation through in vitro spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • advanced tissue engineering
  • biomaterials
  • in vitro spermatogenesis
  • Male germ cells
  • male reproductive system
  • male reproductive tissue engineering
  • stem cells


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