The First Lab-Grown Placenta Unlocks Brand New Medical Research
The world’s first lab-grown placenta has now survived for a full year, remaining stable in its petri dish. That’s really good news, because medical research has long been held back by the lack of a realistic model of the human placenta.
The miniaturized lab-grown organ, called an organoid, was cultivated by Cambridge University doctors who used placental cells donated by women who chose to terminate healthy pregnancies, according to research published last week in the journal Nature.
Once it developed, the doctors confirmed that the placenta behaved like the real thing via a Clear & Simple Digital Pregnancy Test — though presumably not one of the 58,000 tests that were recalled in October.
They hope that the new placenta will foster a new era of pregnancy research, especially as it pertains to complications like pre-eclampsia or fetal growth restriction, both of which can be caused by faulty placental development, Ars Technica reports.