Can an artificial placenta act as a substitute for the real one? - Nasindependenceday

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Can an artificial placenta act as a substitute for the real one?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Even if you're having the worst day ever, where you are struggling to get yourself off the bed, with a sense of nausea building up in your body and your leg cramping up, you can't help but admire the fact that you're actually growing a living human inside your body. A human with a tiny heart, lungs, feet, nose and ears. It's a miracle that this is even happening in the first place. 

Have you ever stopped to think about what would happen if your baby was taken out prematurely and had to grow outside the womb? It makes us scared although we can't pinpoint what exactly the problem would be.


Doctors tell us that if you take out a premature baby from a mother's womb if there are severe complications in her body, chances are that the baby will not survive. This is because once you expose these underdeveloped lungs to air, instead of a warm cosy environment in the womb, it halts crucial developments and can impair the child's various organs.

A breakthrough in the field of premature delivery

Very recently lamb fetuses had been outside their mother's wombs for four weeks in a new system that is something like a placenta. This entire experiment was revolutionary in the treatment of prematurity and bringing about advanced artificial placenta technology

An artificial placenta helps premature fetuses to develop until they can survive the outside world on their own. The artificial placenta consists of a bag that is filled with fluid and allows nutrition and oxygen to pass through. This technology armed with an oxygenator allows circulation of blood which the fetus does on its own, through its own heartbeat.

When we talk about premature births, how premature are they?

The artificial placenta technology aims to help premature infants between 23-25 weeks old.

Without this technology, infants might either die or get lung disorders, hearing and eyesight impairment and mental disabilities as well. The technology provides significant gas exchange without any form of mechanical ventilation. When you create an artificial placenta it allows the fetus to remain in a fluid environment that mimics the environment of a placenta to the greatest degree possible.

Other methods have been devised in the past but even when you expose underdeveloped lungs to the best ventilation techniques, they are still way too fragile to be handled.

The goal of an artificial womb is to assist helpless babies who have to get prematurely born, with no fault of their own and survive until the time their bodies can breathe in air regularly.

A lot of places in the world haven't lapped up to the idea of premature births simply because there is no awareness or artificial placenta research surrounding it. If you introduce a person to an exotic fruit, a fruit which he has never even heard of, chances are that he will not eat it. However if he has heard about the health benefits of the fruit in advance, he will accept it graciously and proceed to eat it. Ambiguity in the premature birth sector must be addressed immediately.


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