In Shikanov laboratory we are interested in creating artificial constructs that direct tissue regeneration and restore biological function by combining approaches from engineering, materials, chemistry and life sciences. The clinical problem we want to solve is premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), which is a common outcome of anticancer treatments in young girls and women. POI causes sterility and complications related to absent ovarian endocrine function such as premature osteopenia, muscle wasting, impaired cognitive development, and accelerated cardiovascular disease. We aim to engineer a biomimetic environment that promotes in vitro growth of immature follicles and integrates cellular, molecular and physico-chemical properties with a structural design that allows studying the bi-directional interactions between the follicles and the support cells. Engineered ovarian tissue with controlled physical and biological properties provides supportive environment for ovarian follicle survival and development, graft remodeling and longevity after transplantation. Our lab is also interested in molecular mechanisms involved in early stage development of ovarian follicles, development of novel 3D culture systems and immunoisolating hydrogels for ovarian follicles.