NPR Features CHOP Research Focused on Helping Premature Babies

Published on in CHOP News

Scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have created a womb-like device in the hopes of someday using the system to save babies born extremely prematurely.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications on April 25, 2017, results involving eight fetal lambs found the device appears effective at enabling very premature fetuses to develop normally for about a month.

"We've been extremely successful in replacing the conditions in the womb in our lamb model," says study leader Alan W. Flake, MD, a Pediatric and Fetal Surgeon and Director of the Center for Fetal Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

According to Flake, the group hopes to test the device on very premature human babies within three to five years.

Listen to NPR’s “All Things Considered” and find out more about how the team hopes this work will be able to improve outcomes of extremely premature infants.


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