Lab-grown artificial mini-placentas that mimic early pregnancy will now help researchers study human placenta’s earliest stages during pregnancy. This new development helps scientist to research the complexities of the initial period of pregnancy and transforms the understanding of reproductive disorders and pregnancy research.

The new mini-placentas offers new hope for dealing with miscarriages, stillbirths, premature births. The tiny organoids that imitate the placenta unfold the mysteries surrounding the relationships between the placenta, the uterus and the foetus and enable research to prevent some infections passing from the mother’s blood to the foetus as well as on Zika virus.

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‘These mini-placentas built on decades of research will play an important role in helping us investigate events that happen during the earliest stages of pregnancy and yet have profound consequences for the life-long health of the mother and her offspring,’ says Professor Graham Burton from the UK’s University of Cambridge.