The principal research aim of iPLACENTA is to improve our ability to study, model and visualise the placenta. This will contribute to developing diagnostic tests and therapies for pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

The placenta rapidly develops structurally and functionally throughout gestation and is a unique organ, having blood supply from two organisms. The placenta is made up of maternal and fetal vessels, with numerous highly branched villi lined with trophoblasts (syncytio) facilitating gaseous, nutrient and waste exchange. ​

Organ-on-a-chip technology offers functionality not possible with conventional 2D or 3D culture; it is a rapidly advancing technology with the ability to better replicate physiological complexity.

Chief Investigators: Kevin O’Reilly, Aston Medical School and Colin Murdoch, University of Dundee