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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

BME Seminar: Farners Amargant i Riera, PhD

Thursday, January 25 | 10:00 AM

Uncas A. Whitaker Hall, 218
6760 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA

Presenting on "Age-associated changes in the ovarian environment: How ovarian biomechanics regulate oocyte quality".

Farners Amargant i Riera, PhD, assistant professor of Ob & Gyn at Washington University School of Medicine will speak on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 10:00 am CT in Whitaker 218.

Abstract: The ovary is one of the main organs of the female reproductive system. The functional unit of the ovary is the follicle, which is surrounded by the ovarian stroma, or tissue microenvironment. Interestingly, the female reproductive system is the first to age in humans, resulting in sub-fertility due to a progressive decline in oocyte quantity and quality with age, and a reduction in the ovarian hormone levels, progesterone and estrogen, which regulate many downstream organs. Using a mouse model of physiological aging, we recently discovered that mouse ovaries become progressively stiffer with aging. This increase in ovarian stiffness was partially induced by an age-associated increase in collagen deposition. When we treated reproductively old mice with the anti-fibrotic drug Pirfenidone, we could partially restore ovarian function, suggesting that fibrosis and stiffness regulate oocyte quality and quantity. However, how the age-associated increase in ovarian stiffness impacts ovarian function and how the follicles sense the changes in the tissue environment are still unknown and are the main objectives of our laboratory. We are currently exploring these questions by: 1) Performing a 3D-mapping of the biomechanical properties of each ovarian sub-compartment; 2) Exploring the impact of ovarian stiffness on follicle development and oocyte quality using in vitro approaches; and 3) Determining how external stimuli can be translated to the oocyte through the activation of specific mechanotransduction pathways in the follicle. Overall, we expect to discover how mechanical input from the environment regulates ovarian function in health and reproductive aging.

Registration to join virtually is required. Please register.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology, Medicine & Health



Biomedical Engineering


Event Contact

Mimi Hilburg

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