Understanding the mechano-regulation of ovarian ageing

Dr Kim Jonas (primary)
Women and Children’s Health
Dr Eileen Gentleman (secondary)
Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology


Ovarian ageing is a naturally occurring process resulting in declining and cessation of fertility at menopause. The ovary ages chronologically faster than other organs, however the mechanisms governing ovarian ageing remain elusive. There is increasing evidence that the extracellular matrix is dynamically modulated during ovarian ageing. This project aims to determine how ovarian stiffness changes across the reproductive lifespan of the ovary using atomic force microscopy. We will then use mechano-modulation of ovarian follicle cultures within modular synthetic hydrogels, immunohistochemistry and qPCR to interrogate how mechano-regulation of the ovary across its lifespan contributes to ovarian function.


1. Normal MDA,… Gentleman E (2021) “Measuring the elastic modulus of soft culture surfaces and three-dimensional hydrogels using atomic force microscopy.” Nature Protocols. doi: 10.1038/s41596-021-00495-

2. Jowett GM, Norman MDA*, Yu TTL*, … Neves JF†, Gentleman E† (2021) “ILC1 drive intestinal epithelial and matrix remodelling.” Nature Materials. 20:250-9. †Joint corresponding authors. doi:10.1038/s41563-020-0783-8

3. Blache U, Stevens MM, Gentleman E (2020) “Harnessing the secreted extracellular matrix to engineer tissues.” Nature Biomedical Engineering. doi: 10/1038/s41551-019-0500-6.

4. Briley et al (2016) Reproductive age-associated fibrosis in the stroma of the mammalian ovary. Reproduction 152(3):245-260

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiophysicsChemistryImage ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology