In a new study, embryologists led by Australian professor Jose Polo have created the first model of an early human embryo from skin cells.
According to the authors, they have successfully reprogrammed skin cells into a three-dimensional cellular structure that is morphologically and molecularly similar to an early embryo.
Such an embryo is also called a blastocyst: it is formed a few days after the fertilization of the egg. In humans, it is a ball with a diameter of a fraction of a millimeter, inside which there is a liquid and embryonic cells. Subsequently, an embryo is formed from the blastocyst after several stages.
This will allow you to study in detail the early stages of [intrauterine] human development, to understand some of the causes of infertility or to find out why miscarriage occurs more often during the first two weeks of pregnancy, without using real human embryos obtained by fertilizing an egg with a sperm.
Jose Polo, Study Director
According to the authors, their developed model will allow studying the early stages of human embryogenesis and some causes of infertility and miscarriage in the early stages.
Previously, such work was hampered by legal and ethical restrictions that did not allow working with human embryos.