Scientists from the National Institute of Health published this Tuesday, in the Journal of Maternal-Foetal and Neonatal Medicine, their latest study, that presents the placenta on a chip, created to enhance knowledge on pregnancy.
The role of the placenta that was created on a chip is to reveal and provide more knowledge on how human placenta actually functions and to better determine how does it practically influence pregnancy.
This is also the reason why the micro device carries all the characteristics and functionality of human placenta, being a mere duplicate of it. It even reproduces the transmission of nutrients that takes place between a mother and its foetus.
Roberto Romero, on behalf of the State University of Wayne, confirms that the system they designed aims to respond especially those issues that could not be explained so far and that their goal is to provide further information on the subject of pregnancy, especially for those nonstandard situations where complications occur.
Other advantages of the micro device are represented by the reduction of previous costs and the fact that experiments will no longer use models of animals.
Some of the most important characteristics of human placenta include the transmission of nutrients from mother to foetus, the supply with oxygen for the foetus and the elimination of waste. Moreover, the placenta plays an important role in protecting the foetus from certain hurtful factors like viruses or bacteria.
With the use of the recently created placenta on a chip, scientists intend to discover how are all these capacities achieved and, thus, provide precious knowledge that will contribute to an improved level of health of the placenta, throughout pregnancy.
For instance, one important aspect that is intended to be researched is the effect of new medication and how does it impact the placenta, the foetus and the overall condition of pregnancy.
The placenta on a chip will further understanding of the role of human placenta, since there are still many aspects that need more information and clarification. Apart from offering more insight on its functions, researchers hope that they will also be able to find more about what is causing disorders in the placenta.
Image source: nih.gov