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Artificial Womb – Could This Be The New Hope For Premature Babies

Nobody knows what is ahead of us in 10 or 20 years from now. We may predict some things, but the technology and science have developed so much, it is even frightening sometimes not knowing what can be discovered or developed. Recently science magazines have been writing about the success of researchers to grow a premature lamb in an artificial womb.

What’s the story about?

Recently a group of scientists developed an external, artificial womb, which purpose is to help bring premature babies to term in order to develop normally in a more natural-like environment. The study and its findings was published in the journal called Nature Communications.

This team of scientists created an artificial womb, which is a bag known as the BIOBAG. The Biobag is a plastic bag which is a replacement for a uterus-like environment. Contains the main parts similar as those of a mother’s uterus: a clear plastic bag that that should protect the fetus, an electrolyte solution that is a replacement for the amniotic fluid and tubes that help the exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Artificial Womb
Image: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Alan Flake and his team put eight preterm lambs into these biobags and waited four weeks until the lambs have fully developed. The results were amazing. The lambs started to sprout wool, to wiggle around and they even opened their eyes. Their brains and lungs got fully developed.

It is extremely important to what the video, because it will give you a full insight.

As the lead author of the study, Flake was interviewed and had to answer different questions. One of them was if this will be possible for human babies in the next few years. His answered that in 3 to 5 years this could be a plausible option to help premature human babies fully develop in a more natural, uterus-like environment, so they can be ready for the outside world.

The reason behind developing an artificial womb

The leading cause of death for newborns is prematurity. Premature babies are the ones born before they reach 37th week of the pregnancy. Extremely premature baby is the one that is born before the 28th week of pregnancy.

A risky pregnancy can be bad, both for the mom and the baby. This is one of the main reasons why researchers tried to find a way that can change this forever and that will help save many lives of those precious little angels or their mothers.

Let’s see what else the future will bring. Hopefully these kind of studies will not be used for the wrong cause and will not raise any ethical concerns.

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