Womb hope for prem babies

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An artificial womb has been used by WA researchers to incubate healthy baby lambs, opening up the possibility that one day it could be used to save extremely premature babies.

Doctors were able to keep preterm lambs alive and well with a therapy known as EVE, or ex-vivo uterine environment, using an amniotic fluid bath linked to an artificial placenta.

Crucially, they decided to treat the premature lambs as foetuses rather than small infants, by replicating a womb environment.

The lambs continued to grow during the week-long incubation, and showed no ill-effects when they were later delivered.

The groundbreaking work, involving researchers from the Women and Infants Research Foundation, the University of WA and Japan’s Tohoku University Hospital, offers new hope for babies born at the border…

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