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Placenta model

Engineers develop placenta-on-a-chip to study caffeine transport from mother to fetus

By Mike Krapfl, Iowa State University News Service

Iowa State University’s Nicole Hashemi, associate professor of mechanical engineering, has used her expertise in microfluidics to lead development of a device that models a human placenta. She and her research team have used the “placenta-on-a-chip” to study transport of caffeine from the mother, across the placental barrier, to the fetus.