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The Cells Floating In Amniotic Fluid May Unlock The Ability To Treat Organ Diseases Inside The Womb

Scientists have developed a new method to create mini organs, or organoids, from cells found in the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus in the womb. This breakthrough, achieved by researchers from University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, could potentially open up new avenues in prenatal

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by Chris Dannen
The Cells Floating In Amniotic Fluid May Unlock The Ability To Treat Organ Diseases Inside The Womb

Scientists have developed a new method to create mini organs, or organoids, from cells found in the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus in the womb. This breakthrough, achieved by researchers from University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK, could potentially open up new avenues in prenatal medicine. The scientists collected cells from amniotic fluid samples taken during routine prenatal testing and successfully grew mini organs from these cells, marking the first time this has been done during active pregnancies.

The researchers believe that this approach could enable doctors to monitor and treat congenital conditions before birth, as well as develop personalized therapies for babies in the womb. Growing mini organs from amniotic fluid cells takes approximately four to six weeks, providing sufficient time for prenatal therapy to address any identified issues. The scientists identified tissue-specific stem cells shed by the fetus, including cells from the lungs, kidneys, and intestines.

This method circumvents regulations surrounding the use of stem cells directly from fetal tissue, allowing researchers to obtain cells from fetuses in the latter stages of pregnancy. The researchers collaborated with colleagues in Belgium to study the development of babies with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, demonstrating the practical applications of this approach in assessing and potentially treating such conditions before birth.

Chris Dannen profile image
by Chris Dannen

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