The first artificial wombs for growing human babies may be getting closer to reality.
Next week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will discuss how scientists should conduct initial human trials using the bag-like womb.
According to FDA, 2-day discussion with experts has started on 20 september It will be about how these wombs can support “extremely premature babies” who are struggling with current standard medical care.
Philadelphia’s Vitra Biomedicals is nearing human trials for its artificial womb based on lamb trials.
“The impact of this technology will be life-changing. It will be a new paradigm in pediatric medicine,” said Dr. Alan Fleck, co-inventor and Vitara medical consultant. on company website,
Vitara’s artificial womb is a bag filled with fluid that is connected to tubes and machines and placed in a temperature-controlled environment. Tubes deliver amniotic fluid, while other tubes deliver oxygen and medications to the fetus through the umbilical cord blood vessels. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,
Experts say it aims to help babies born between 23 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
While the concept has been studied over the past 60 years, after two research groups in 2017 and 2019 demonstrated the basic concept of artificial womb technology through animal studies, many experts agreed that it was a breakthrough for science. There are positive developments but an ethical concern arises when using it. technology with humans, according to National Institutes of Health,
“I think inappropriate use of technology to push the limits of practicality creates ethical dilemmas,” Dr. Fleck said. new York TimesAdding that candidates for artificial wombs would be “those infants who cannot currently be resuscitated.”
According to Vitara, approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely every year globally, with the worldwide premature birth rate being around 11%. In America, this causes an economic burden of about 26 billion dollars. Vitara hopes their technology will reduce the cost of caring for those babies.