About the project
Towards an artificial womb
Following their birth, each child faces a physiological transition from mother-placental life support to (self-sufficient) life outside the womb. For some premature babies, this transition occurs too quickly. This places a heavy demand on the child’s immature vital organs, which is why extremely premature babies often experience serious, lifelong health problems with possible social consequences. As a trial in recent years, premature lambs have successfully been kept alive in a fluid-based environment, allowing them to develop in the same way as in the womb. The results are also promising for human application. The Perinatal Life Support consortium will develop a medical device – an artificial womb – that supports the safe development of extremely premature babies outside of the womb. Ultimately, these infants will have better health prospects than premature infants with conventional care.
Myrthe van der Ven | Project leader