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IIT-B & ICMR Jointly Make Placenta-On-A-Chip Device to Protect Baby from Harmful Drugs & Chemicals       

Written by : Trishti Pariwal

August 17, 2023

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It is challenging to study the human placenta since it is a transient organ that only grows during pregnancy. Using placenta-on-chip technology, researchers and healthcare professionals can examine, assess, and recognise pregnancy-related problems. 

IIT-Bombay and ICMR's National Institute of Research in Reproductive and Child Health (NIRRCH) have collaborated to develop placenta-on-a-chip device. It helps maintain the placenta's structure and function and provides safer drug evaluations for pregnant women.'¯ 

'œIn pregnancy, the placenta shields the baby from harmful drugs and chemicals. But some can still cross this barriers and cause harm to the baby in the womb. Hence, pregnant women are not given most medications and they continue to suffer', said Dr Deepak Modi, NIRRCH. 

It is challenging to study the human placenta since it is a transient organ that only grows during pregnancy. Using placenta-on-chip technology, researchers and healthcare professionals can examine, assess, and recognise pregnancy-related problems. This will transform the pharmaceutical industry and minimise the need for animal testing, benefiting the lives of millions of people throughout the world. 

The effectiveness of the gadgets in simulating a placenta was thoroughly examined in both labs. The pharmaceutical industry can now use the devices to test various pharmaceuticals and medications. A press release states that the process of filing a patent for this innovation, which helps both business and academia, is ongoing. 

IIT Bombay and ICMR-NIRRCH Mumbai did research and developed a setting that mimics the placenta's basic organ structure and functions utilising a process-integrated microfluidic technology. 

The placenta in a lab dish created by scientists enables various cells to communicate with one another, combine mechanical properties, and recreate blood flow, almost precisely mimicking the in vivo state. 

These devices are better suitable for examining placental development and problems brought on by placental anomalies than other POC versions. 

IIT Professor, Abhijit Majumder, and Dr. Modi worked on creating this placenta-on-a-chip device. Prof. Majumdar created the microfluidic devices, and Dr. Modi greatly understood the placenta used to develop the solution.  

They were produced using cutting-edge techniques such as photolithography, soft lithography, and individually hand-punched designs. The placenta's unique cells were replicated in these devices by Dr. Modi's team in the same way they are visible in the actual placenta. 


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