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Researchers develop placenta-on-chip to study placental conditions

Researchers are developing a placenta-on-chip to study placental conditions.

The new research by Florida Atlantic University hopes that the devices can be used to prevent women with malaria from experiencing any difficulties during pregnancy, reports.

Although still at an early stage, the research could change the way neotnatal diseases are researched and could prevent the use of actual human embryos or fetuses and avoid any ethical issues.

Dr Sarah Du - who is leading the project with Dr Andrew Oleinikov - told the website: "There are a number of challenges in studying the biology of the human placenta in its natural form or in situ because of ethical reasons as well as accessibility."

The microchip will first be used to examine the effects of malaria on placentas and fetuses.

Andrew said: "Because it's not possible to do many things in vivo this would be a nice model to explore many issues which exist in vivo.

"And see if we can find treatment for many other disorders with no fetal interaction."

With this placenta-on-chip technology, researchers can have a better understanding of the inner workings of many fetal disorders that millions of families face each year.

Using the microsensors, the chip will be able to simulate blood flow in a lifelike environment.

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