Spec. Issue 2006 - Article Summary

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Placental perfusion – a human alternative

Tina Mose and Lisbeth Ehlert Knudsen
Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Foetal exposures to environmental and medicinal products have impact on the growth of the foetus (e.g. cigarette smoke) and development of organs (e.g. methylmercury and Thalidomide). Perfusion studies of the human term placenta enable investigation of placental transport of chemical substances between the mother and foetus. Dual perfusion of a single cotyledon in the human placenta can contribute to a better understanding of the placental barrier, transport rate and mechanisms of different substances and placental metabolism. The perfusion system has recently been established in Copenhagen and represents a supplement and alternative to animal testing, bypassing the animal to human extrapolation. Placentas are readily obtainable from most births upon informed consent from the mothers and are considered a promising tissue alternative/supplement to animal experiments. The system is validated as a part of work package 2 of the integrated project ReProTect.

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