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A newly-tested artificial womb could change the way doctors care for babies born prematurely, according to new research.

The new study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, details the testing of a “womb-like device” on fetal lambs, which develop lungs in utero much the same way humans do.

The lambs involved in the study lived inside the device — which uses a container filled with liquid — for about four weeks, breathing amniotic fluid inside of a temperature-controlled environment.

While video footage of the lamb within the artificial womb may look startling at first, the device could one day be a “bridge between the mother’s womb and the outside world,” said Dr. Alan Flake, co-author of the study, in a statement.

“If we can develop an extra-uterine system to support growth and organ maturation for only a few weeks, we can dramatically improve outcomes for extremely premature babies,” Flake, a doctor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, added.

“We’ve been extremely successful in replacing the conditions in the womb in our lamb model,” says Alan Flake, a fetal surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“They’ve had normal growth. They’ve had normal lung maturation. They’ve had normal brain maturation. They’ve had normal development in every way that we can measure it,” Flake says.

This study wasn’t designed to replace a mother’s natural womb, but the invention could one day help keep premature infants off ventilators and out of incubators when they are born.

Modern medicine continues to be truly amazing!

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  • amazing medical advance but i wonder that if one day, they will remove the need for a mother to carry her own child to term

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  • im not exactly keen on this technology to be honest. im confused how is that going to save prem babies in the future? taking it out of the mother’s womb into that in hope it will continue surviving?
    there are so many babies an children out there that need to be adopted into a warm loving family. there is IVF but thats close to it. not for me.. poor lamb not much of a room to move around like it would in its mother’s tummy.

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  • The need advancement in saving babies but how could they do that to an innocent lamb. It’s not as though they probably used a brain dead one.

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  • Amazing indeed ! God gave us a lot of knowledge and skills and placed with that a lot of responsibility in our hands. May we use it well and wise and in the right way.

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  • This is amazing! As a premmie mum knowing this sort of technology may be available one day makes me hopeful that more premmies may survive.

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  • We have come a long way to be able to do this! Who would have thought!

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  • This is truly amazing. I do worry about saving so many lives that would naturally be lost we may be causing serious imbalance on the planet

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  • Medical advances like this are amazing! I am in awe of these brilliant people doing what they can to help people and in this case, prem bubs!

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  • Yes I saw this article yesterday. WE are making progress. But playing god is not the best thing for survival of the species.

    Reply

  • Incredible!

    Reply

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