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.
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