201301 Noninvasive Assessment of the Placenta

A request for applications with set-aside is proposed entitled, “Noninvasive Assessment of the Placenta” using the R43/R44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and R41/R42 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant mechanisms.


The purpose of this solicitation would be to stimulate the development of safe and non-invasive modalities to assess the placenta to evaluate its normal and abnormal development, structure, function, physiology. These may include imaging or other technologies for in vivo assessment of normal and/or abnormal placental development and function.


The proposed RFA will solicit research in the development of safe, non-invasive technologies to assess in vivo placental function, placental metabolism, and placental microvascular blood flow. In addition, it is intended to encourage longitudinal physiologic studies of in vivo pre-placenta and placental development and function, longitudinal physiologic studies of in vivo placental perfusion and/or metabolism including establishment of reference values, as well as measurements of in vivo placental function in complicated pregnancies and patterns of progression to disease states.


The objectives of this solicitation is to push the field beyond existing paradigms, such as maternal serum biomarkers and/or Doppler velocimetry of the uterine arteries, both of which have been associated with placental function. The development of non-invasive methods to assess the placenta in situ may allow a better understanding of normal and abnormal development and physiology, the evaluation and identification of markers and predictors of pregnancy outcome, and provide a foundation for interventional trials.

Program Contact

Caroline Signore, MD, MPH
Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch


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