Wednesday September 19, 2018
Home Lead Story Researchers H...

Researchers Have Successfully Created Artificial Placenta

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted.

0
//
18
Artificial placenta created in lab using 3D printing. Flickr
Artificial placenta created in lab using 3D printing. Flickr
Republish
Reprint

Using a high-resolution 3D printing process, Austrian researchers have succeeded in creating an artificial placenta barrier on a chip, a development that can be used to investigate important aspects of nutrient transport from the mother to the foetus.

The placenta ensures the exchange of important substances between the mother and her unborn child, whilst simultaneously blocking other substances from passing through.

“The transport of substances through biological membranes plays an important role in various areas of medicine,” said Aleksandr Ovsianikov, professor at the TU Wien university in Vienna.

“These include the blood-brain barrier, ingestion of food in the stomach and intestine, and also the placenta.”

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons
This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons

Studies have shown that diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure in the mother can affect the transport of substances to the foetus. Until now however, it has been almost impossible to investigate the way in which the many parameters involved interact in such cases.

Using the 3D printing made it possible to produce customised hydrogel membranes directly within microfluidic chips, which are then populated with placenta cells.

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place, the researchers said.

The novel chip consists of two areas — one represents the foetus, the other the mother. Using a specially developed femtosecond laser-based 3D printing process helped produce a partition between them — the artificial placenta membrane.

The high-resolution 3D printing involved a hydrogel with good biocompatibility.

Also Read: Obesity During Pregnancy May up Kid’s Risk of Epilepsy

“Based on the model of the natural placenta, we produce a surface with small, curved villi. The placenta cells can then colonise it, creating a barrier very similar to the natural placenta,” Ovsianikov explained.

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

High Sugar Levels In Mothers Can Risk Obesity In Child: Study

Lowering a mother's blood sugar during her pregnancy reduces the birth weight of the child.

0
Pregnancy
Maternal high blood sugar linked to obesity risk in kids. Pixabay

Babies born to woman with higher blood sugar levels during pregnancy could be at significantly greater long-term risk of obesity – even more than a decade later, a study has found.

The higher the woman’s blood sugar, the greater the risk of her child being obese.

The researchers suspect that epigenetic changes are likely to be influencing these long-term outcomes and those changes begin quite early in pregnancy.

Pregnancy
Maternal high blood sugar linked to obesity risk in kids Pixabay

“The mother’s blood sugar level during pregnancy is an independent contributor to the child’s weight and risk of being obese later in childhood,” said Boyd Metzger, professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

In addition, mothers with higher-than-normal blood sugar during pregnancy — even if not at the level of gestational diabetes — also were significantly more likely to have developed Type-2 diabetes a decade after pregnancy than their counterparts without high blood sugar, the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal JAMA.

Lowering a mother’s blood sugar during her pregnancy reduces the birth weight of the child, as well as the risk of pre-eclampsia — potentially life-threatening condition in which the mother has high blood pressure that affects her and the baby.

Pregnancy
The higher the woman’s blood sugar, the greater the risk of her child being obese. Pixabay

If not regulated on time, these can potentially increase the number of women and children at risk of acquiring lifelong chronic medical conditions.

“The results are important because they demonstrate that even women with mild hyperglycemia during pregnancy and their offspring are at risk of harmful maternal and child health outcomes,” said coauthor Wendy Brickman, associate professor at Feinberg.

“Research is needed to identify interventions that will improve the health outcomes of these women and children,” Brickman said.

Also Read: Weight Loss Tip- Chinese Medicine Ingredient May Help Reduce Obesity

The study evaluated children 10 to 14 years after birth in 10 clinical centers in seven countries: the US, Canada, Israel, the UK, Hong Kong, Thailand and Barbados.

The study included 4,697 mothers and 4,832 children. (IANS)