The first “vagina on a chip”, this is how an important development of Harvard University’s Wyss Institute has been presented to the scientific community. This is a micro device that is part of the Organ Chip Macro project, through which human organs are copied in full detail.
The first such invention was the lung, created by researchers at the Wyss Institute in 2010. The replication was so amazing that it allowed them to fine-tune the technology to engineer intestines, kidneys and bone marrow.
After adjusting some procedures and drawing valuable conclusions, the scientist a vaginal swab to analyze the microbiome of this organ, ie all the microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses or fungi, Thus, they hope to set an example.
delay in vaginosis test
Bacterial vaginosis most often affects women ages 15 to 44.According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is thought to be an infection in which there is an “imbalance” between the good and bad bacteria present in the intimate area.
The medical literature indicates that information about infection is scarce. It is not known exactly how it is spread or if sexual intercourse may contribute to it.
According to the Wyss Institute, this change is seen in about 30 percent of women of reproductive age worldwide., Due to limited research, there is no certainty on how to prevent it and there is only one form of treatment which can be very expensive.
“Vaginosis doubles the risk of many sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and increases the risk of preterm birth in pregnant women, which is the second leading cause of neonatal death. Currently, it is treated with antibiotics. But it often recurs and can lead to more serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and even infertility,” describe the researchers.
Infection studies have been delayed largely due to the difficulty of performing the test with vaginal tissue.
Furthermore, animal analyzes have distanced themselves from what can be found in humans, because, according to the scientists, while women have a vaginal microbiome made up of about 70 percent Lactobacillus bacteria, other In mammals, bacteria are said to make up no more than one percent.
What will the vagina on chip be used for?
The vagina on a chip reproduces both a real situation, its cells, tissues and connections. The small device’s upper channel contains epithelial cells and the lower channel contains fibroblast cells that are “separated by a permeable membrane to replicate the arrangement of cell layers in the human vagina.”
The 2.54 cm long replica has managed to react to the bacteria it contains, so it is now a milestone for carefully studying the microbiome. and how you can deal with drug use.
“Our human vagina chip provides an attractive solution to study host-microbiome interactions and accelerate the development of potential probiotic treatments,” said Gautam Mahajan, one of the first researchers from the Harvard Institute.
In this way, the scientific community will be able to combat bacterial vaginosis and contribute to the reduction of sexually transmitted infections and prenatal complications in the near future.
“This is a relevant preclinical model for humans for the development and testing of fertility therapies,” they concluded in the study which was published in the specialized journal ‘Microbiome’.
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