Artificial womb successfully tested on premature lambs

Artificial womb successfully tested on premature lambs

American scientists have managed to come out of premature lambs with an artificial uterus, which looks like a big plastic bag.

Artificial uterus provides the embryo with all necessary for development and maturation, including continuous circulation and a protective layer of amniotic fluid.

Scientists believe that their invention will one day be able to help the nursing and premature infants. Human trials may begin within a few years.

An artificial womb designed and created by scientists from children’s hospital of Philadelphia. They note that the artificial uterus is not a substitute for the womb, it only allows to maintain the viability of the born prematurely.

Currently in the world nursed preterm infants born in the period from about 23 weeks or more. They are placed in special incubators, podklyuchat to devices of artificial ventilation of the lungs.

The invention of scientists — a plastic bag-the uterus contains a mixture of warm water and salts, similar in composition to amniotic fluid surrounding the embryo in the womb in vivo.

This fluid is inhaled and swallowed by the growing fetus, as well as it usually occurs in the womb. Liters of this mixture continuously passes through an artificial womb, providing a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients.

Placed in this bag lamb can not get the oxygen and nutrients through the placenta, but the umbilical cord is attached to a special machine that produces these substances.

The main task of the artificial uterus — to help the maturation of the respiratory system of the fetus.

In children brought to light by period less than 23 weeks, almost no chance of survival at 23 weeks the survival rate is already 15%, in 24 weeks — 55%, and at 25 weeks — 80%.Salesgravy injury

The studies found that preterm lambs, whose physiological fetal development was at the same level as that of 23-week babies is well developed, while in the artificial womb.

Lambs were born 28 days later, finding it and began to breathe on his own.

Part of the lambs had had to kill in order to examine the state of their brain and internal organs. But most of the experimental animals survived and were artificially reared.

The creators of the artificial womb still has to solve a series of problems, such as how to avoid intrauterine infection, or to provide the embryo with sufficient amount of hormones.