Using Raman Spectroscopy to Study the Onset of Labor: A Pilot Study
Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems IX - SPIE Proceedings
Preterm birth is the second leading cause of neonatal mortality and leads to a myriad of complications like delayed development and cerebral palsy. Currently, there is no way to accurately predict preterm labor, making its prevention and treatment virtually impossible. While there are some at-risk patients, over half of all preterm births do not fall into any high-risk category. This study seeks to predict and prevent preterm labor by using Raman spectroscopy to detect changes in the cervix during pregnancy indicative of labor. Since Raman spectroscopy has been used to detect cancers in vivo in organs like the cervix and skin, it follows that spectra will change over the course of pregnancy. Previous studies have shown that fluorescence decreased during pregnancy and increased during post-partum exams to pre-pregnancy levels. We believe significant changes will occur in the Raman spectra obtained during the course of pregnancy. In this study, Raman spectra from the cervix of pregnant mice and women will be acquired. Specific changes that occur due to cervical softening or changes in hormonal levels will be observed to understand the likelihood that a female mouse or a woman will enter labor.
Vargis E, Webb CN, Paria BC, Bennett K, Reese J, Al-Hendy A, A Mahadevan-Jansen+. Using Raman Spectroscopy to Study the Onset of Labor: A Pilot Study. Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems IX - SPIE Proceedings 7890-45, 2011