Scientists have created an artificial womb for premature babies

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2017-04-26 11:30:05

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Scientists have created an artificial womb for premature babies

The problem of supporting the life and the full development of premature babies is very relevant today. Is considered a premature baby, born at 37-38 weeks earlier and having a body weight less than 2.5 kg. Born every year prematurely appear around 15 million . This is what prompted scientists from children's hospital of Philadelphia to design an artificial uterus, in which a premature baby will be safe from the environment and to develop over time.

Artificial uterus creates an ideal environment for toddlers. This allows their internal organs completely formed, and ready to meet the outside world. Inside a constant temperature, pressure and light levels. Needless to say that an artificial womb protects the baby from various infections. The device is filled with constantly circulating amniotic fluid. The umbilical cord connects to the external oxygenator with low resistance, providing the baby with oxygen and taking away carbon dioxide. All vital signs of the fetus are monitored by electronic systems.

"the kids just needed a kind of bridge between the womb and the outside world. Creating such a system capable of supporting the growth and development of the internal organs for several weeks, we are significantly increasing chances of premature babies survival" — says study leader Alan Flake.

The Device was successfully tested on eight preterm lambs that were physiologically equivalent to human infants at the time 23-24 weeks. Lambs carried in an artificial womb for 28 days, after which they were extracted and carefully examined. All subjects showed normal development of the brain and internal organs. Stay inside an artificial womb allowed their lungs to fully develop and begin to breathe air independently.

Artificial womb, scientists were trying to create, since the 50-ies of the last century, however, another group of researchers have not managed to achieve serious success in these endeavors. Of course, there were certain achievements, but they are not enough to declare the problem completely solved. Before you start testing the device on humans, scientists are going to improve his invention, to reduce its dimensions and to implement additional systems to ensure the safety of the fetus. The results of the study were published in the journal .

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