photo: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia via AP

Sometimes science feels a little bit more like science fiction, but nothing is fictional about an amazing new device created by pediatric researchers. The team at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia has developed an artificial womb that could help babies survive premature delivery.

As USA Today reports, the device, called a “biobag” is made of inert plastic and is filled with electrolyte fluid that acts as amniotic fluid for a premie. It also features a device that replaces the placenta and uses the baby’s umbilical cord to pump blood to the heart and cycle oxygen and carbon dioxide. So far, the womb has been successfully tested on 8 premature baby lambs and helped them to thrive and develop organs normally.

It’s an exciting development for premature babies, of which there are about 1 in 10 born each year in the US. There are still several stages that need to be crossed before the device will be ready for trials on humans, however, but the team hopes that it will happen in the next few years.

Was your baby born a premie? Share your own experiences in the comments.