losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com June 28, 2017


Artificial womb may be a lifeline for premature babies

27 April 2017, 02:06 | Violet Powell

Graphic illustration of the artificial womb developed to support very premature babies

Artificial womb

Researchers are creating an artificial womb to improve care for extremely premature babies - and remarkable animal testing suggests the first-of-its-kind watery incubation so closely mimics mom that it just might work. The animals "breathed" and swallowed normally, opened their eyes, grew wool and developed properly functioning nerves and organs, said the researchers in the journal Nature Communications.

"Currently, there's no way to support these infants without those associated problems", said Alan Flake, a fetal surgeon at CHOP and co-inventor of the device.

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.

Scientists used the womb to successfully grow lambs born prematurely.

But that day isn't here yet.

Extreme prematurity causes a third of all infant deaths and half of all cerebral palsy diagnoses attributed to preterm births.

Advances in neonatal care have increased the survival of premature babies, but those pushing the limits of viability (22 to 23 weeks of gestation) only have a 30 to 50% chance of survival.

They tested their technique on eight newborn lambs, born after a time analogous to earlier than 23 weeks for humans (a normal human pregnancy is about 40 weeks).

"So many research groups have been trying to develop a system like this since the 1950s, however they've met with limited success", Dr Davey said.

Egyptian-American Aid Worker, Released From Cairo Jail, Returns To US
US officials had raised Hijazi's case with the Egyptians soon after Trump took office on January 20, the official said. Hijazi was held in an Egyptian prison for three years before the Trump admin could win her release.

-Then the researchers attached the umbilical cord to a machine that exchanges carbon dioxide in blood with oxygen, like a placenta normally does.

Researchers said after just four weeks the lambs' brains and lungs had matured.

The authors also stated that the technology could be extended to other therapeutic applications such as treatment of fetal growth retardation related to placental insufficiency. The artificial womb can be a big step for the future. If they are out of the womb, a breath of air stunts lung development.

Moreover, according to sociologist Barbara Katz Rothman, from the City University of NY, the technological transformation of pregnancy could lead to a denied "human connection" among babies being "raised in a machine".

If the Food and Drug Administration trials go ahead it could be another three to five years before the devices - assuming they are proven safe and effective for newborns - are in use, Flake said.

"Foetal lungs are created to function in fluid, and we simulate that environment here, allowing the lungs and other organs to develop, while supplying nutrients and growth factors", said foetal physiologist Marcus Davey who designed the psuedo-womb's inflow and outflow system.

The team reports that the lambs' lungs and other organs developed as though they were in their mother's womb, an important improvement over the incubators and ventilators now used to keep preemies alive.

How Could This Device Help Premature Babies?

If successful, Dr Flake says they could be in use by humans in a decade; aside from the obvious medical benefits, he says it could also save the USA health system $4b a year in medical costs. And while further adaptation of the device is needed before it can begin human testing, he envisioned parents being able to see the baby and even piping in the sound of the mother's heartbeat.



Other News

Trending Now

Saudi king names son as US envoy as ties boosted with Trump
Minister of Communications Muhammad Al-Suwail has been relieved and Muhammad Al-Sawaha was appointed as new minister. Saudi Arabia has reshuffled its cabinet and replaced a number of key officials, local media reported late Saturday.

Turkish opposition challenges presidential powers vote
The CHP also demanded that the announcement of the official results be postponed until the case is resolved. Bozdag said these judicial organs would reject such applications based on Turkish laws.

Apple Wants To Make Your iPhone A Lot More Eco-Friendly
Liam, the name for Apple's robotic disassembly and recycling system, will help with that, the company said. The company is looking to recover cobalt from lithium-ion batteries used in the phones, the report stated.

Patty Mills scores 20 points off the bench as Spurs defeat Grizzlies
The Rockets, led by James Harden's 34 points, overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-99 to clinch their first-round series 4-1. The home team is 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in the last eight games between these two teams.

Cassini concludes final fly by of Titan
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA , ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. Cassini's fuel is running out, and therefore, the orbiter's work at the ringed planet is nearly done.

'The Fate of the Furious' laps new films at box office
And given the film's A- score on CinemaScore, it seems to have succeeded in doing so. As for the week's other major releases, they all performed poorly.

Apple insider delivers the worst possible news about the iPhone 8
The phone also looks to be visibly fatter than the existing iPhone 7, although exact dimensions have yet to be revealed. The 8 is rumored to house a 3D camera as well, and will make use of Samsung's curved OLED technology.

Class XII boy runs over one
The police said that it registered a case at the Kashmere Gate Police Station and added that is continuing to probe the matter. Watch VideoTheir vehicle rammed into the pavement by the road, at 5:45 am on Thursday.

Senate Overwhelmingly Confirms Perdue as Agriculture Secretary
Perdue's home state of Georgia accounted for just 2 percent of total USA agriculture exports in 2015. "I'm pleased that the U.S. The Senate on Monday approved the latest member of President Donald Trump's cabinet, sending former Georgia Republican Gov.

Trump to sign measures to review financial regulation
It requires them to hold more capital in reserve in the event of financial emergencies. Elsewhere, investors welcomed bullish comments from U.S.