The Human Placenta Project: placental structure, development, and function in real time

Placenta. 2014 May;35(5):303-4. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2014.02.012. Epub 2014 Mar 6.


Despite its crucial role in the health of both the fetus and the pregnant woman, the placenta is the least understood human organ. Since a growing body of evidence also underscores the importance of placental development in the lifelong health of both mother and offspring, this lack of knowledge about placental structure and function is particularly concerning. Given modern approaches and technologies and the ability to develop new methods, we propose a coordinated "Human Placenta Project", with the ultimate goal of understanding human placental structure, development, and function in real time.

Keywords: Human placenta; Research.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / physiology*
  • Placenta / anatomy & histology*
  • Placenta / physiology*
  • Placentation / physiology*
  • Pregnancy