Artificial womb could help critically premature babies

Tom Lawson

Babies born dangerously early could one day have a significantly higher chance of survival, suggests a trial of a new artificial womb

An artificial womb has been successfully trialled for the first time, on lambs born prematurely.

The sealed ‘biobag’ contains a substitute amniotic fluid and connects to a gas exchanger for blood oxygenation.

Though not yet ready for human use, the Nature Communications study suggests it could significantly increase survival rates, helping babies who are born unable to breathe, feed or fight infection.

Image: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


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