Mimicking early embryogenesis to study infertility and other questions

Mimicking early embryogenesis to study infertility and other questions


[Subtle background music]>>Fu: This microfluidic device, in fact,
really provides the first human relevant experimental system to peek into this black box, and allow
us to understand better post-implantation human development.>>Narrator: University of Michigan researchers
have developed a microfluidic platform that uses stem cells to reliably mimic an early
part of human embryo development, giving scientists the ability to investigate the causes of infertility
and other big questions in maternal and child health.>>Fu: Everytime when we are thinking about
such research, we want to justify why we are doing this. Do we have scientific questions in mind? And why the systems we are generating are
the best systems to answer those questions.>>Gumucio: It’s pretty well known that
over 50 percent of pregnancies fail in the first two weeks. There’s clearly some genetic reasons for
this. There are some environmental reasons for this. But we don’t really what any of those reasons
are.>>Narrator: This device offers a repeatable
environment for creating hundreds to thousands of similar embryo-like structures, which could
help researchers screen medications and chemicals in order to treat and prevent problems that
can occur in early pregnancy, like infertility and certain birth defects. Such engineering platforms can allow the biologist
– developmental biologist, stem cell biologist, to study the most important questions. [Background music continues]

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