It’s ground-breaking research. It suggests that the early stage of growing embryos can be done biologically instead of artificially in the IVF process which may see “better results” for the embryos’ growth and survival.
According to a report from website Pride West, a team of bioengineers and gynaecologists at Tel Aviv University say that by bioengineering cells they have been able to create a model of the human uterine wall where embryos may be able to attach and grow. The discovery would be a step toward growing embryos in an artificially made biological womb model, the researchers said, instead of artificially in a petri dish and incubator, which is the early stage process in in-vitro fertilisation.
At the helm of the study are Professors David Elad and Ariel Jaffa who have been collaborating in reproductive bioengineering research for more than 25 years, including with colleagues from the US and Europe.
In their work, they took endometrial and smooth muscle cells from the uterus and co-cultured them in layers in the lab, subjecting them as well to hormonal manipulation. Through their engineering of the cells, they managed to create a “model that represents a receptive uterus,” which would be able in theory to be fertile ground for a newly fertilized egg to implant and develop, Elad said, according to ahe article on Pride West.
The Tel Aviv University study marks a “first time the anatomical architecture of the human uterus has been tissue engineered” and is an important step forward in gaining insight into the creation of early human life, Elad stated.
“You cannot do studies with the human uterus during pregnancy because of ethical and technical limitations, and animal studies are not representative. Having a biological artificial uterus — a tissue-engineered biological model — will help us increase the knowledge on how early human life happens, and how to improve chances of women getting pregnant.”
Click here for the full report from Pride West for this revelatory research and its implications.