Scientists Develop Artificial Womb To Help Premature Babies
In the United States , scientists have developed an artificial womb which is fluid filled bag also know as extra uterine support device which helps in taking care of extremely premature babies, therefore, improving the chances of survival of the premature baby.
During the pre-clinical studies with lambs, the scientist was able to mimic the womb environment. In addition to this, the researchers were also able to analyze the functions of the placenta. This also helps the premature baby to develop properly. Nearly 30, 000 premature babies were born .between 23 and 26 weeks of gestation.
When a baby is pre-mature, a human baby weighs more than 500 gms.The lungs of an unborn baby are usually not properly developed to handle the air, therefore, its chances of survival are low. Around 70 percent babies are dead and those who survive usually suffer from lifelong disability. There is a requirement of an environment which acts as a bridge between the mother womb and outside world.
As Per The Team His team's aim, he said, was to develop an extra-uterine system where extremely premature babies can be suspended in fluid-filled chambers for a vital few weeks to bring them over the 28-week threshold when their life chances are dramatically improved. It could take up to another 10 years, but by then he hopes to have a licensed device in which babies born very prematurely are given the chance to develop in fluid-filled chambers, rather than lying in incubators being artificially ventilated.
"This system is potentially far higher to what hospitals can currently do for a 23-week-old baby born at the cusp of viability," Flake said. "This could establish a new standard of care for this subset of extremely premature infants."The team spent three years evolving their system through a series of four prototypes - beginning with a glass incubator tank and progressing to the current fluid-filled bag.
Fetal physiologist Marcus Davey Said That , "For testing this, six preterm lambs were tested in the recent model.These lambs were physiologically alternative to a 23- or 24-week-gestation human baby and they were able to develop in a sterile and temperature controlled room. The scientists made amniotic fluid in their lab and set up the system so that this flowed into and out of the bag. The development of lungs in fetal lambs is very similar in humans".