'Placenta on a Chip' May be the Answer to Understanding Placenta Processes and Disorders

A placenta chip that mimics the maternal-fetal barrier has been created by researchers to help in understanding how this vital organ works. The chip consists of two chambers separated by a semi-permiable membrane with one chamber holding maternal cells from a delivered placenta while the other holds the fetal cells extracted from the umbilical cord. 

Previous placenta studies relied on animal and human lab-grown cells, a method that did not always give the most accurate results. On the other hand, it would take a tremendous amount of time and resources to carry out the research on humans, not to mention the risks on the developing fetus. 

This chip that has been devised by Roberto Romero from the National Institute of Child Health is therefore a welcome advancement in pregnancy studies allowing researchers to study how different materials move between the mother and her unborn child across the placenta. The process will not only be more efficient, it will also be a lot more cheaper that when doing the experiments on animals.

You can read more about the Placenta on Chip here.


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