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European researchers developing artificial womb for premature babies

European researchers are developing an "artificial womb," a device which can help a fetus grow outside uterus.

Led by Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, a European consortium has been awarded a grant of 2.9 million euros to help create this futuristic innovation.

The technology can help the millions of babies who are born premature all over the world, as many grow to have illnesses or disability.

"When a baby is born and encapsulated in an artificial and amniotic sac, we have to connect the umbilical cord to the artificial womb system. The baby goes into this little basin. It's umbilical cord is still attached," said Jasmijn Kok, the co-founder of Juno Perinatal Healthcare.

"The neonatologist or gynecologist connects the cord to the system to give the baby all the oxygen, nutrition, and any medication it needs," she added.

Kok said the project will have its first working prototype by 2024 and undergo preclinical and clinical trials after. They hope to have the device—incubator 2.0—in use in hospitals by 2030.

"It does sound a bit like science fiction. But we won't be doing anything illegal or advised against. Within the limits of current legislation, we're improving neonatal care," she said.

—MGP, GMA News