The CaixaResearch Artificial Placenta Project, led by BCNatal (Hospital Clínic Barcelona – Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona), have developed an artificial placenta prototype that increases the survival of premature fetuses up to 12 days. This innovative experimental project, the first in Europe with an animal model, aims to increase the survival of extremely premature babies and reduce the sequelae they face.

The prototype artificial placenta consists of a translucent container made of biocompatible materials and is connected to an amniotic fluid circulation system. This provides a protected environment for the fetus, isolated from external stimuli but accessible for ultrasound checks and constant monitoring. In addition, the team has developed an extracorporeal circulation system that simulates the natural functioning of the maternal placenta and umbilical cord. This system allows blood circulation and oxygenation of the fetus, contributing to its proper development.

The project has also focused on developing a non-invasive real-time monitoring system that allows intensive control of the status and development of the fetus. In addition, supportive medical protocols have been developed, including the administration of nutrition, hormones and other medications, to address possible clinical scenarios and reverse them.

The project enters a second phase to prolong survival and prepare for the clinical phase.

Article written by Hospital Clínic Barcelona



Hospital Clínic Barcelona