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Computer-Generated Ovaries to Assist Follicle Counting Experiments

Skodras, Angelos, Marcelli, Gianluca (2015) Computer-Generated Ovaries to Assist Follicle Counting Experiments. PLOS ONE, 10 (3). E-ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120242)


Precise estimation of the number of follicles in ovaries is of key importance in the field of reproductive biology, both from a developmental point of view, where follicle numbers are determined at specific time points, as well as from a therapeutic perspective, determining the adverse effects of environmental toxins and cancer chemotherapeutics on the reproductive system. The two main factors affecting follicle number estimates are the sampling method and the variation in follicle numbers within animals of the same strain, due to biological variability. This study aims at assessing the effect of these two factors, when estimating ovarian follicle numbers of neonatal mice. We developed computer algorithms, which generate models of neonatal mouse ovaries (simulated ovaries), with characteristics derived from experimental measurements already available in the published literature. The simulated ovaries are used to reproduce in-silico counting experiments based on unbiased stereological techniques; the proposed approach provides the necessary number of ovaries and sampling frequency to be used in the experiments given a specific biological variability and a desirable degree of accuracy. The simulated ovary is a novel, versatile tool which can be used in the planning phase of experiments to estimate the expected number of animals and workload, ensuring appropriate statistical power of the resulting measurements. Moreover, the idea of the simulated ovary can be applied to other organs made up of large numbers of individual functional units.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120242
Uncontrolled keywords: ovaries, oocytes, ovarian follicles
Subjects: T Technology
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts > Instrumentation, Control and Embedded Systems
Depositing User: Tina Thompson
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2015 11:29 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 13:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Marcelli, Gianluca:
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