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Menstrual Cycle In A Chip: First Laboratory Reproductive Cycle Recreation

By Lester Mondragon | May 26, 2017 03:09 AM EDT

Researches new study of the menstrual cycle in a chip took them through a new window of the female physiology. The study aims to address women's issues on pregnancy that result to recurring miscarriages and could help scientists understand better birth control and drug development in this area.

A study about the menstrual cycle in a petri dish was once reported in a scientific journal, also aimed to address concerns regarding menstrual cycle issues, is not feasible. Researchers from the Northwestern University Obstetrics and Gynecology led by Professor Teresa K. Woodruff said that cells exposed on a flat petri dish would not last long and eventually die. This led to their research to their menstrual cycle on a chip that has cells that last the 28 day period of the menstrual cycle.

The menstrual cycle on a chip recreation concists of human and mouse cells from the different organs of reproduction found in a network of small interconnecting tubes. The system works like the body's circulatory system with the aid of tubes, valves, and pumps pushing air and fluids across the chip.

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Pituitary hormones are injected into the system to signal chemical interaction of the menstrual cycle in a chip. The onset triggers the secretion of estrogen and progesterone that are present in menstrual cycles including in the ovulation process. Hormonal activity is simulated that gave scientists a clearer picture of what happens after conception. The insight could guide OBGynes to a successful pregnancy and carriage with their patients, reports the Scientific American.

The results of the menstrual cycle in a chip research is published in the journal Nature Communications. Kevin Osteen, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who is not involved in the research, commented that the menstrual cycle in a chip model is a far cry from the real thing that lacks the placenta that is key to pregnancy and the Inflammatory System. Osteen is working on other reproductive chips, reports Inbox DB.

Woodruff maintains that their study is open to a wide range of studies including cervical diseases. Some ailments cannot be modeled by lab mice due to cellular structure differences.

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