Dimension Inx and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Awarded Joint NIH Grant to Expand Fertility Restoration Options

November 10, 2022

Exploratory collaboration will focus on developing strategies using 3-D printed bioscaffolds to support the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles to produce fertilizable eggs

Dimension Inx, a regenerative biomaterials company, and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago have been jointly awarded an NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant. The grant focuses on uncovering a novel approach to in vitro growth and maturation (IVGM) of ovarian follicles. Together, Dimension Inx and Lurie Children’s will use the funding to further explore the development of a more accessible and affordable infertility preservation intervention, one particularly useful in the emerging field of oncofertility.

Infertility is a significant and growing global health problem, with estimates suggesting more than 186 million individuals live with infertility worldwide. While assistive reproductive technologies (ART) methods like IVF have been available for over four decades, these technologies remain largely inaccessible and unaffordable.

They are also not a good fit for certain patients, such as women who have undergone cancer treatments or survived childhood cancer. These women are often at increased risk of infertility and hormone-based issues that affect many organs.

The NIH award supports work that continues the successful collaboration between Ramille Shah, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Dimension Inx, and Monica Laronda, PhD, the Gesualdo Family Research Scholar at Lurie Children's, a nationally ranked children’s hospital and the home of Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, one of the nation’s leading, free-standing pediatric research centers.

In prior work developing bioprosthetic ovaries, the team was able to boost hormone production and restored fertility in mice using 3D-printed gelatin scaffolds. After removing a female mouse’s ovary and replacing it with isolated ovarian follicles seeded in the 3D-printed scaffold, this bioprosthetic ovary enabled the mouse to ovulate and give birth to healthy pups.

“The world needs a solution that improves the availability, access, and quality of current infertility interventions,” said Ramille Shah, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Dimension Inx. “What we’re working on with Dr. Laronda at Lurie Children’s will help us further our vision to provide safe infertility treatments that are available to all who need and desire them – particularly for those who aren’t good candidates for traditional assisted reproductive technologies.”

Dimension Inx’s patented biomaterials platform enables the design and development of therapeutic products that restore tissue and organ function. Under the grant, Dimension Inx will leverage its technology platform to fabricate 3D-printed bioscaffolds that direct the maturation of ovarian follicles into healthy, fertilizable eggs. 

As part of this current grant, researchers at Lurie Children’s will conduct biological studies evaluating the growth and maturation of follicles on Dimension Inx’s scaffolds.

“It has been a significant goal of mine to translate what we see at the reproductive biology lab bench to inform innovations and improve options in the clinic,” said Monica Laronda, PhD, Director of the Research, Fertility & Hormone Preservation & Restoration Program at Lurie Children’s. “The use of bioscaffolds to support the development of eggs from ovarian tissue cryopreserved for future fertility would significantly expand fertility restoration options for patients, including childhood cancer survivors.”

If successful, this work would uncover an innovative approach to IVGM and expand fertility restoration options for women. To learn more about the project, click here: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10593624.

About Dimension Inx

Dimension Inx is a biomaterials platform company. We design and develop therapeutic products that restore tissue and organ function.

Our materials-centric approach enables biofunctionality without compromising manufacturability. We precisely tune our biomaterials to create clinical solutions not otherwise possible. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with biotech and medical device partners to help solve their most challenging materials problems, and internally develop medical products for various therapeutic applications ranging from bone regeneration to fertility preservation.

Dimension Inx is proudly based in Chicago, IL. To learn more about our team and our technology, please visit www.dimensioninx.com.

Dimension Inx. Biomaterials, reimagined.

About Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is conducted through Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. Manne Research Institute is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.