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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 287186, 9 pages
Research Article

Follicle Structure Influences the Availability of Oxygen to the Oocyte in Antral Follicles

1Auckland Bioengineering Institute, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2School of Mathematical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia

Received 2 March 2011; Revised 2 August 2011; Accepted 31 August 2011

Academic Editor: Thierry Busso

Copyright © 2011 A. R. Clark and Y. M. Stokes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ability of an oocyte to successfully mature is highly dependent on intrafollicular conditions, including the size and structure of the follicle. Here we present a mathematical model of oxygen transport in the antral follicle. We relate mean oxygen concentration in follicular fluid of bovine follicles to the concentration in the immediate vicinity of the cumulus-oocyte complex (COC). The model predicts that the oxygen levels within the antral follicle are dependent on the size and structure of the follicle and that the mean level of dissolved oxygen in follicular fluid does not necessarily correspond to that reaching the COC.