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Artificial Womb

What, why, and the possible future

Thibault Houdeville

on 14 March 2011

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Transcript of Artificial Womb

The Beginning of life... Already in 1923, J.B.S. Haldan
foresaw that future pregnancies would
be outside a woman womb "by 1951, having children will
become a complete
out-of-body experience" ... 9 months to grow: I-Premices of ectogenesis :
Between real science and science-fiction II-How science evolved III-Fallouts and questionning,
ethics? Aldous Huxley
1894-1963 1932 1998 Premices of
ectogenesis How science evolved
and try to make it possible? Mother and father Hung-Ching Liu Director of the
Reproductive Endocrine Laboratory
at Cornell University Yoshinori Kuwabara Professor
at Jutendo University (Tokyo) Artificial Womb Markers of ovocyte/embryo
"Optimize" pregnancies
(in vitro) to ensure
the future evolution of the
ovocyte/embryo Rescuing poor quality
human preimplantation
embryos in vitro:
Modify embryos with
poor cell growth Coculture of embryos with endometrial cells:
Increase viability, and tryouts Cryopreservation of ovocyte/embryo/ovarian
Preserve female fertility Genetic, embryo, and
tissue engineering:
Reconstruction in vitro
of gens, embryo... Hung-Ching Liu:
researches around... Experiments... Collagen matrix ... on which endometrial cells are planted Picture a bowl completely made of endometrial cells... ...filled with a amniotic fluid-like liquid. You have an artificial
baby-growing machine! Late 1950's :
development of artificial placenta system Neonatal respiratory
distress syndrome tested on very
premature goat But... problems !!! size of the chamber how to adjust liquid composition? control of the extracorporal blood circuit all goats were deformed or had lung problems these efforts were entirely
abandoned by 1980 new approach After an almost 10 year interval, a group headed by the late Prof. Yoshinori Kuwabara started a new project aimed at developing a new artificial placenta system. What about ethic? It frees women from their reproductive-sexual roles artificial births would be
completely safe for the mother women would not have to
take time away from busy careers it avoids weight gain or stretch marks surrogate mother better than but among unknowns:
mother-embryo interactions emotions alcohol and other drugs Social issues laws Main tries: 2003:

2008: Mouse embryos growing completely
in vitro, compared to ones living only 10 days.

Human embryos for 10 days The success of in implantation
relies on the irrigation of the embryo
Full transcript