Electrophoresis development to significantly reduce high-risk preterm labor

Detection of preterm labor by sensing the signals of uterine contractions with a non-invasive electrophoresis solution. Prevention of preterm labor by inhibiting uterine contractions by electrical signals that modulate the autonomic nerves.

Preterm labor makes up 12.7% of all pregnancies. Although the overall rate of pregnancy is declining, the incidence of preterm labor due to preterm labor in South Korea has been increasing over the past seven years. Not only is preterm birth responsible for about half of all newborn deaths, but neurological deficits in surviving preterm infants often lead to problems later in life, such as developmental disorders and respiratory complications. Currently, preterm labor is only detected when expectant mothers experience abnormal symptoms, or when they undergo a routine examination such as an abdominal ultrasound or a lab test of vaginal secretions. It is difficult to detect preterm labor early, and there are few treatment options available other than pharmaceutical agents such as anti-contracture drugs, which have worrying side effects.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that in cooperation with the research team led by Ki Hoon Ahn, Professor in the OB / GYN Department, Korea Anam University Hospital and Dr. Soo Hyun Lee, the team at KIST Brain Science Institute (BSI) has developed a non-invasive electrolyte for detection Early and concurrent treatment of preterm labor.

While preterm labor is generally known to have various causes, including naturally occurring premature contractions and premature rupture of membranes, the final symptom is irregular uterine contractions. The KIST research team has developed a circular cake electrode inserted into the cervix to sense the signals of uterine contractions in real time, making early diagnosis of preterm labor possible. Moreover, after sensing the signal of uterine contractions, the electrode can generate an electrical signal and thus act as an electrolyte to suppress uterine contractions by relaxing the uterine muscles by stimulating the sympathetic nerve.

The research team tested the safety and functioning of this electrical system to detect and treat premature labor using mouse and pig models before preterm, and they confirmed that the electrical stimulation generated by the system can delay and prevent uterine contractions.

Professor Ki Hoon Ahn of Anam University Hospital in Korea said, “Although research and development of new drugs (R&D) has been actively conducted around the world, the efficacy was not sufficient and there were side effects. We developed this system because it was. There is a clinical need for medical equipment with a new mechanism. ” He added, “It is expected that infant mortality rates and the consequences of premature labor will significantly decrease with the use of the first ever medical device to control uterine contractions.”

Soo Hyun Lee, Ph.D., from the KIST Institute, contributed by saying, “The donut electrolysis is not an existing pharmaceutical-based treatment, but rather a therapeutic tool to prevent uterine contractions by electrical stimulation and is likely to be further developed as a new medical technology. List on concept. ” “The research started as a project of KIST-KIST Translation Research Center. In the near future, we are planning to conduct clinical research with government research grants, such as an interagency program for research and development in medical devices,” he added.


The research was conducted as a research project at the Anam Hospital Transformational Research Center, KIST University, Korea and funded by the Ministry of Science and Information Technology and Communication (MSIT). The results of the study have been published in the latest issue of ‘IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation EngineeringAnd an international journal in the field of electrical and electronic engineering.

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