An artist’s impression of a lamb inside a fluid-filled womb-like bag developed by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
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Researchers are creating an artificial womb to improve care for extremely premature babies – and remarkable animal testing suggests the first-of-its-kind watery incubation so closely mimics mom that it just might work.Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is aiming for a gentler solution, to give the tiniest preemies a few more weeks cocooned in a womb-like environment – treating them more like fetuses than newborns in hopes of giving them a better chance of healthy survival.In early stage animal testing, extremely premature lambs grew, apparently normally, inside the system for three to four weeks, the team reported Tuesday.Flake's goal is for the womb-like system to support the very youngest preemies just for a few weeks, until their organs are mature enough to better handle regular hospital care like older preemies who have less risk of death or disability.The researchers tested five lambs whose biological age was equivalent to 23-week human preemies, and three more a bit older.
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