Scientists have been working for many years on replicating a human organ system to better understand and treat diseases. Researchers at Northwestern University have now created the first functioning female reproductive tract that fits in the palm of your hand. In 10 years, this will be the prevailing technology for biological research.
EVATAR (a hybrid name of Avatar and Eve, from “Garden of Eden” fame) also will help scientists understand diseases of the female reproductive tract such as endometriosis, fibroids (which affect up to 80 percent of women), cancer and infertility.
The ultimate goal is to use stem cells of an individual patient and create a personalized model of their reproductive system.
Watch the video below!
Evatar has completed a full menstrual cycle for the first time. The 3D model has separate sections of tissue from ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and liver. It produced hormones that travelled through the mini system complete with their levels rising and falling as in a female human. For circulation, the device used a medium of artificial blood that pumped throughout the different compartments.
“This is nothing short of a revolutionary technology,” said lead investigator Teresa Woodruff, a reproductive scientist and director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.
“If I had your stem cells and created a heart, liver, lung and an ovary, I could test 10 different drugs at 10 different doses on you and say, ‘Here’s the drug that will help your Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or diabetes,’” Woodruff stated. “It’s the ultimate personalized medicine, a model of your body for testing drugs.”
“This will help us develop individualized treatments and see how females may metabolize drugs differently from males,” Woodruff said.
Soon it will be possible for scientists to measure and study the effects of new and current drugs at once, testing for toxicity and effectiveness in battling diseases of the female reproductive tract.
This is breakthrough technology, to say the least. And run by female scientists, which makes it even more awesome. Let me know what you think! Thaïs