UK (Next Media) – UK scientists have successfully grown a mouse embryo in the lab using only stem cells, which indicates this procedure could be eventually applied to growing artificial human embryos.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge extracted the embryonic stem cells and the extra-embryonic trophoblast stem cells, which will form the placenta, from a mouse. The two types of cells were then mixed, placed on a 3D scaffold and grown in a tank of chemicals that mimics the conditions inside the womb. The cells were able to grow and formed a structure that very closely resembled a natural mouse embryo after 96 hours.
In a press release, Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz from the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, said, “We think that it will be possible to mimic a lot of the developmental events occurring before 14 days using human embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cells using a similar approach to our technique using mouse stem cells.”