close-up photo of a small, clear, microfluidic device with multicolored chambers visible within

‘Organ-on-chip’ shows how uterus coaxes embryo to implant in early pregnancy

Scientists designed a tiny “organ-on-a-chip,” about the size of a quarter, that replicates early pregnancy, when the embryo implants in the lining of the uterus.

In a report published earlier this year in the journal NatureCommunications (opens in new tab), the device’s designers described the new technology in detail. The small device is made of clear silicone rubber, the same material used in some contact lenses, and has two chambers: one to hold placental cells and one for teensy, 3D blood vessels, according to Penn Medicine News (opens in new tab). A barrier runs between the two chambers and mimics the uterine tissue that would run beneath an embryo implanted in the womb.

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