Driven by a lack of appropriate human placenta models, recent years have seen the introduction of bioengineered in vitro models to better understand placental health and disease. Thus far, the focus has been on the maternal-foetal barrier. However, there are many other physiologically and pathologically significant aspects of the placenta that would benefit from state-of-the-art bioengineered models, in particular, integrating advanced culture systems with contemporary biological concepts such as organoids. This critical review defines and discusses the key parameters required for the development of physiologically relevant in vitro models of the placenta. Specifically, it highlights the importance of cell type, mechanical forces, and culture microenvironment towards the use of physiologically relevant models to improve the understanding of human placental function and dysfunction.
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