By Ike A. Offor
This is something many have hoped for years to happen but some have dreaded would happen someday, due to some ethical questions they perceive it raises.
A group of Scientists in a research team created a new device that mimics a pregnant mammal’s womb. They have successfully grown a lamb in the laboratory in an artificial womb, which mimicked that of mother sheep
This unborn lamb was able to develop inside an artificial womb pic.twitter.com/IpYwlrQnKW
— CNN International (@cnni) April 26, 2017
The artificial womb works by two major components; the first one is the circulatory system that goes through an oxygenator. This is the connection through the umbilical cord vessels that allow blood to flow out of the of the fetus through the oxygenator and back into the fetus and exchange gas as a placenta does.
And the other component is a fluid environment that surrounds the fetus and allows the fetus to swallow and breathe amniotic fluid as it’s supposed to during development.
This was tested in the fetal lambs.
Nature communication reports that this lamb grew in the device for 28 days.
In the future, they hope to test the technology in humans.
Some people in the ethics community would strongly question this but it will perhaps grow in the development and perfect to give hope to women who are unable to conceive via natural means. This could as well grant hope to women who have no womb, who would like to have children of their own.