Monday, October 29, 2007

Womb on a chip

Researchers at the University of Tokyo are experimenting with a "womb-on-a-chip", an alternative to the petri dish for use in IVF. The hope is that this new approach will improve IVF results.

This artificial high tech "womb" is comprised of a silicon chip on which a bed of uterus cell have been cultured. An egg is deposited on the chip and sperm are added to fertilize it. Then a micropump continuously applies a wash of culture fluids to the early embryos until they are ready to be implanted a real womb.

Research is currently underway using eggs and sperm from mice. Possible use for human IVF is still a ways off.



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