Let us first understand the concept of an artificial uterus. Wikipedia describes it as a device that could allow for pregnancy outside the body of the mother by growing an embryo or fetus. And as absurd and dreamy as that might sound to some, it could very well be true. Think about it. The number of people who wanted to be parents but never could, because their body would not allow it. This would not only serve as an apt substitute for a ‘not-so-healthy’ human body but also release the mother of the added responsibility and the health issues that come with pregnancy. But is this achievable?
Well, Par-Tu-Ri-Ent is one such machine that grows and protects the baby inside it. The art project has a transparent curved lid so that the parents could observe their child as they please.
And while there are concerns that a growing fetus needs to be in contact with its mother and the noises around her, the students from Artez Product Design Arnhem who designed the pod, found a solution. There is a microphone attached so that parents can speak to the baby.
The most important part of the growth process is the nutrition intake and the future preference of taste for the baby. Well, the pod always keep a record of what the baby has eaten and what it needs in terms of nutritional value.
And the mother can also feel the movement of the baby with this. Just press the button and the baby can also feel the presence of the mother.
A few months later, when the baby is due, just open the lid and there you have, a family.
Well, we will have to wait to test the utility or the side-effects of the device since the students have no plans of converting this into a real product for the market. The project opens up a lot of questions about the ethical ramifications of cloning and artifical pregnancies.
So, is this it? Is this the way forward, where a mother could have a child without all the constraints involved with the process? Or is it another gadget whose utility we can’t be sure about till we get to experience it?
Featured image for representational purposes only.