Program seeks Council approval for an initiative titled "Moving Beyond Standard Imaging: Applying Novel Tools to Assess Human Placental Structure and Function in Real Time." In spite of its critical importance, the human placenta is the least understood of all human organs, and lacks adequate tools for safe, real-time assessment across pregnancy.
To date, NICHD has been quite successful at drawing in researchers from diverse disciplines to push the boundaries of imaging and assessment of circulating factors in support of the Human Placenta Project which was launched in 2014. Those studies offer great promise, but only touch on a small portion of the available technology universe. The proposed initiative would be directed at technologies outside those already being developed.
The goal of this initiative is to stimulate novel tools such as biosensors and nanoparticles to assess human placental structure and function in vivo across pregnancy. This will move the field beyond existing paradigms of standard ultrasound and MRI and provide valuable clinical and research tools to enhance our understanding of placental biology and improve our clinical management of pregnant women.
This proposed concept aligns with the NICHD Vision areas of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and Reproduction.
Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch
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