backtop


Print 28 comment(s) - last by P4blo.. on Mar 12 at 7:29 AM


Silicon Womb Detail  (Source: Anecova)

Silicon Womb vs. Traditional AVF  (Source: Anecova)
Silicon womb incubates embryos inside the mothers own body

For the many people around the world affected by infertility who hope to have their own biological children and raise a family, the only option is in vitro fertilization (IVF). With typical IVF, eggs are harvested form a woman in bulk and then fertilized in a lab dish. The dish requires maintenance every few hours to keep waste materials away and keep fresh nutrients the embryo needs to develop available.

After a two to five day incubation period, the healthiest embryos are transferred to the uterus in the hopes of a successful pregnancy. The process has a success rate according to some sources of only 30%. Trials of a new silicon womb are set to begin in the UK and researchers hope the device will reduce the amount of eggs required for IVF and increase the chances of a pregnancy.

The silicon womb allows embryos created in the lab to be placed inside a perforated silicon tube and implanted into the woman’s body. NewScientist reports that the silicon womb is about 5mm long and less than 1mm wide with walls that are perforated with 360 holes about 40 microns in diameter.

Once the lab loads the tube with embryos the tube is implanted via the cervix into the uterus of a woman. The tiny holes allow the normal uterine fluids to reach the embryos providing a more natural environment for them to grow.

Forty women are being recruited for a trial of the silicon womb and each woman will have eight to twelve eggs harvested -- half of the resulting embryos will be incubated in the lab and half inside the silicon womb. Researchers say that half of the participants will have the silicon womb’s removed after two days and the embryos will be checked for genetic defects and the remainder of the volunteers will have the silicon wombs left for four days.

Simon Fishel, the man leading the trial at CARE Fertility in the UK, said that the trials are encouraging, but not conclusive. Fishel told NewScientist, “We will be able to directly compare the results of the in vitro and in vivo techniques.”

Fishel goes on to say, “We don't really know the full ambient conditions of the reproductive tract. It is also a dynamic environment that changes constantly, and we can't replicate that."

Even if the silicon womb works, it is still not ideal according to researchers. In a normal pregnancy the embryo develops inside the fallopian tube during the typical seven days it takes to move from the ovary to the uterus.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Silicon womb
By TomZ on 2/28/2008 6:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Medical "advances" like these are counter-productive to the human species. There is no natural selection anymore.

Your view is based on an incorrect assumption that infertility is caused by a genetic defect. In reality, genetic defects are not commonly thought to be the root cause of infertility. Instead, the rising infertility in developed nations is generally attributed to environmental factors, e.g., chemical exposure, and social changes, e.g., the trend towards having children at an older age and the like.

And I also think your comment is extremely insensitive, to say the least. Infertility is a difficult and potentially devistating problem for a couple to go through. My wife and I have three children as a result of IVF, and I am personally very grateful for these "medical advances" that have quite significantly changed my life. If I were a prospective parent just 20-30 years ago, my wife and I would not have been able to have children, which would have been devistating.

Obviously you are a child yourself, judging by your comments, but I still hold out some hope that you can understand this very adult explanation.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken











botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki