Tell me how: Lab-grown mini-pla­cen­tas help in preg­nancy re­search

Friday - - HEALTH NEWS -

Lab-grown ar­ti­fi­cial mini­pla­cen­tas that mimic early preg­nancy will now help re­searchers study hu­man pla­centa’s ear­li­est stages dur­ing preg­nancy. This new de­vel­op­ment helps sci­en­tist to re­search the com­plex­i­ties of the ini­tial pe­riod of preg­nancy and trans­forms the un­der­stand­ing of re­pro­duc­tive dis­or­ders and preg­nancy re­search.

The new mini-pla­cen­tas of­fers new hope for deal­ing with mis­car­riages, still­births, pre­ma­ture births. The tiny organoids that im­i­tate the pla­centa un­fold the mys­ter­ies sur­round­ing the re­la­tion­ships be­tween the pla­centa, the uterus and the foe­tus and en­able re­search to pre­vent some in­fec­tions pass­ing from the mother’s blood to the foe­tus as well as on Zika virus.

‘These mini-pla­cen­tas built on decades of re­search will play an im­por­tant role in help­ing us in­ves­ti­gate events that hap­pen dur­ing the ear­li­est stages of preg­nancy and yet have pro­found con­se­quences for the life-long health of the mother and her off­spring,’ says Pro­fes­sor Gra­ham Bur­ton from the UK’s Univer­sity of Cam­bridge.

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