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OBJECTIVE The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus. It is composed of fibrous tissue and its mechanical integrity is crucial for maintaining a healthy gestation. During normal pregnancy, the cervical extracellular matrix (ECM) remodels in preparation for labor. The objective of this study was to investigate the biochemical and morphological changes in(More)
In normal pregnancy, the cervix maintains its shape during a period of substantial fetal and uterine growth. Hence, maintenance of biomechanical integrity is an important aspect of cervical function. It is known that cervical mechanical properties arise from extracellular matrix (ECM). The most important constituent of the cervical ECM is fibrillar(More)
Spontaneous preterm birth is a frequent complication of pregnancy and a common cause of morbidity in childhood. Obstetricians suspect abnormalities of the cervix are implicated in a significant number of preterm births. The cervix is composed of fibrous connective tissue and undergoes significant remodeling in preparation for birth. We hypothesized that a(More)
The cervix plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy, acting as a mechanical barrier to hold the fetus in utero during gestation. Altered mechanical properties of the cervical tissue are suspected to play a critical role in spontaneous preterm birth. Both MRI and X-ray data in the literature indicate that cervical stroma contains regions of(More)
Appropriate mechanical function of the uterine cervix is critical for maintaining a pregnancy to term so that the fetus can develop fully. At the end of pregnancy, however, the cervix must allow delivery, which requires it to markedly soften, shorten and dilate. There are multiple pathways to spontaneous preterm birth, the leading global cause of death in(More)
OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to develop a method to visualize 3-dimensional (3D) anatomic changes in the cervix and lower uterine segment during the antepartum period. METHODS An observational study of patients with both uncomplicated and complicated pregnancies was performed. To visualize 3D anatomic changes, solid models were constructed from(More)
Arterial wall perforation and chronic restenosis represent important factors limiting the clinical application of laser angioplasty. Discrimination of normal and atherosclerotic vessels by laser-excited fluorescence spectroscopy may offer a means of targeting plaque ablation, thereby reducing the frequency of restenosis and transmural perforation. In this(More)
Niacin lowers serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides, and it raises high-density lipoprotein. However, most patients experience cutaneous warmth and vasodilation (flush). Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) can reduce this flush, presumably by decreasing prostaglandin D(2) (PGD(2)) release from macrophages. Here, we show that methylnicotinate(More)
Screening of biomaterial and tissue systems in vitro, for guidance of performance in vivo, remains a major requirement in the field of tissue engineering. It is critical to understand how culture stimulation affects both tissue construct maturation and function, with the goal of eliminating resource-intensive trial-and-error screening and better matching(More)
Cervical shortening and cervical insufficiency contribute to a significant number of preterm births. However, the deformation mechanisms that control how the cervix changes its shape from long and closed to short and dilated are not clear. Investigation of the biomechanical problem is limited by (1) lack of thorough characterization of the three-dimensional(More)