The title and focus of this POSTnote has been amended/altered/refocused on a particular area of research based on key stakeholder feedback.

  • Work on this briefing will commence in November 2023.
  • Closed for contribution.

Human embryo models, also referred to as embryoids or embryo-like structures, can imitate the structure and function of early human embryo structures. They are typically created in laboratories (in vitro) using human stem cells. Human embryo models, can be used to study early human development, better understand the process of pregnancy and enable potential fertility treatments. However, this research highlights ethical challenges, such as whether embryo models should be subject to the same regulation as human embryos. Further, there are ethical concerns around future possibilities for genetic modification, commercialisation of human tissue, and accessibility of potential treatments gained from the research.

This POSTnote will outline how human embryo models  can be used to inform fertility research and the evidence base for future opportunities. The briefing will highlight gaps in regulatory frameworks and review the scientific evidence and stakeholder perspectives on future regulation of embryo models. It will consider the ethical risks of unlawful or unethical practices.

Work on this will begin in November 2023.

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