Chinese researchers claim to have developed an artificial intelligence system capable of caring for and monitoring embryos as they develop into fetuses in an artificial womb environment.
According to the results published in the Journal of Biomedical Engineering, for now this artificial intelligence “nanny” cares for a large number of animal embryos.
According to scientists, this same technology could eliminate the need for a woman to carry her baby, allowing the fetus to grow more safely and efficiently outside of her body and in a controlled environment.
This “long-term embryo culture device” is a container in which scientists grow mouse embryos in a row of buckets filled with nutrient fluids, explains Professor Sun Haixuan, who is leading the study.
Thus, this robotic system can monitor embryos to an unprecedented level as it moves up and down the line throughout the day.
AI technology helps the machine detect the slightest signs of change in the embryos and adjust carbon dioxide, nutrition and environmental inputs.
This system can also classify embryos according to their health and developmental potential. In addition, when one of them has a major anomaly or dies, the machine will notify a technician to remove it from this container.
Current international laws prohibit experimental studies with human embryos over two weeks of development.
However, later-stage research is key, as “there are still many unsolved mysteries about the physiology of typical human embryonic development,” adds Sun.