Category Archives: In the News

Collaborative Cervix Research Group Research Capsule

The work of our collaborators in the Kitajewski lab at the Columbia University Medical Center were featured in a news brief for their groundbreaking work on the Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 (ANTXR2) protein. Their work explores the importance of cervical extracellular matrix maintenance for a healthy labor and birth.

[Columbia University Medical School News]

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A new study reveals mechanics play a key role in pregnancy

The New York Times reports the success of a cervical pessary study in The Lancet today. The study claims the pessary device was successful at preventing preterm labor in a cohort of women at high-risk for preterm birth, identified by a ‘short’ cervical length in an ultrasound screening. It is still unclear how the pessary is able to maintain the cervix from dialating prematurely, but the results of this clinical trial are promising and provide evidence that the biomechanical properties of the pelvic region play a role in the progression of labor and cervical dilation.

[The Lancet]

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Robots as a Research Tool – Oyen Lab Cambridge

Watch our collaborator Dr. Michelle Oyen from the Engineering Department at Cambridge University use the Lego Mindstorm in a clever way to execute her biomechanics research!

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World’s First MRI Birth

A mother in Berlin is the first woman ever to give birth inside a MRI scanner!

Doctors in Berlin designed an open MRI scanner to capture some amazing images before, during, and after childbirth. Just another example of how medical imaging is really progressing right now. The associated paper also mentions the “mechanical factors” of birth.  Maybe this will inspire more engineers to study reproductive biomechanics…

Human Birth Observed in Real-time Open Magnetic Resonance Imaging [Science Direct]

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Prematurity Article in the New Yorker

Click the link below to read a fantastic article regarding preterm birth and its many causes.  For me, the take-home message is – not much is known on how to diagnose and treat preterm labor, but researchers are beginning to piece the puzzle together!

“The reasons for premature birth are not well understood. Sometimes the mother develops hypertension, often called preeclampsia, and blood flow to the placenta is disrupted. In other instances, the placenta fails to grow, or it abruptly detaches, as was the case with Caroline. Other women have “cervical incompetency”—the cervix dilates early and labor begins. Infections, particularly of the mother’s genito-urinary tract, can induce pre-term labor as well. There are also cases in which there is no apparent precipitant.”

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