China’s researchers have created an artificial intelligence robotic system to care for embryos in a virtual womb. According to The Independent, the robot nanny has already raised many fetuses, but not humans, just animals so far.
The researchers want to build a technique that would enable parents to raise a baby in the lab, sparing women from pregnancy, according to their findings published in the Journal of Biomedical Engineering.
The robot will “optimize and enhance the embryo culture system,” according to the experts, who also plan to develop a “online monitoring system” for “long-term embryo cultivation.”
According to studies, the technology permits embryos to develop faster than they would in a normal womb.
“There are still many unexplained questions concerning the physiology of ordinary human embryonic development,” the paper adds. The development of such technology will also aid in the understanding of life’s origins and “human embryonic development,” as well as bring solutions to birth abnormalities and other major reproductive health issues.”
In a 2019 post for The Conversation, associate professor of law Nira Bhatia and bioethicist Evi Kendal suggested that artificial wombs might help preterm newborns live.
“Those born before 22 weeks of pregnancy have little or no chance of survival,” they stated. And babies delivered at 23 weeks are more likely to have a variety of health problems.”
“Using a sealed ‘bio-tank’ that replicates a mother’s womb might help preterm newborns survive and live longer.”
Attempts to develop embryos in the past have been successful, although only for a few hours at a time. Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, on the other hand, believe that a lamb fetus may survive for 28 days.
The device for supporting a lamb’s fetuses resembled a large zipped bag filled with amniotic fluid.
“If our technology is as effective as we think, ultimately the majority of fetuses estimated to be at danger of severe preterm will be delivered to a system that maintains them submerged without the aid of a ventilator,” Center for Fetal Research director Alan Flake told the Huffington Post.