Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synchrotron Radiation Illuminates How Babies' Protective Bubble Bursts

Date:
November 7, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Researchers have developed an important new technique to study one of the most common causes of premature birth and prenatal mortality. The method uses a powerful X-ray beam to examine tiny structures within the protective sac -- amniotic membrane -- which surrounds the developing baby.

Representative (false colour) patterns collected from amnion proximal (a) and distal (b) to the placenta. Arrows indicate position of the interfibrillar reflection (magenta) other coloured rings close to the beamstop are background/backscatter. X-ray diffraction patterns displayed an anisotropic arrangement of collagen fibrils within the distal amniotic tissue.
Credit: Image courtesy of Public Library of Science

Researchers at the University of Reading, School of Pharmacy have developed an important new technique to study one of the most common causes of premature birth and prenatal mortality.

Related Articles


Dr Che Connon, a Research Councils UK Fellow in Stem Cells and Nanomaterials, and his team used a powerful X-ray beam to examine tiny structures within the protective sac - amniotic membrane - which surrounds the developing baby.

This beam can resolve structures far smaller than a light or electron microscope. Furthermore, unlike other more intrusive forms of microscopy, X-ray investigation requires no processing of the tissue before examination, so can produce an accurate measurement of amniotic membrane structure in its normal state.

When the protective sac raptures during labour this is when the mother's waters burst; if premature rupture occurs it can result in death or mental retardation of the child. Currently premature birth is increasing and 40% are attributed to the early rupture of amniotic membranes. Thus, a better understanding of the rupture process will lead to better treatment, earlier diagnosis and fewer premature deliveries

Dr Connon, an expert in tissue structure, said: "This is of interest to the general public because amniotic membrane rupture is an important stage in the start of labour. More importantly early rupture of the amniotic membranes occurs in up to 20% of all pregnancies worldwide, and is the most common cause of preterm birth, leading to babies dying or having major problems such as cerebral palsy. The paper describes a new breakthrough in understanding the structure of amniotic membranes and how they rupture. Hopefully this will lead to therapies designed to prevent preterm membrane rupture as well."

"Rupture of amniotic sac has been associated with a weakening of the tissue, but there is very little information available concerning the detailed mechanics of how this actually occurs."

"We have now identified a regular cross-work arrangement of fibre forming molecules within the amniotic membrane which give the tissue its strength. Furthermore we have detected nanoscale alterations in the molecular arrangement within areas associated with amniotic membrane rupture. These results suggest, for the first time, that it is the loss of this molecular lattice like arrangement that governs the timing of membranes rupture."

"Therefore, by controlling the amniotic membranes molecular arrangement we believe we can prevent premature rupture and delivery in the future."

Citation: Connon CJ, Nakamura T, Hopkinson A, Quantock A, Yagi N, et al (2007) The Biomechanics of Amnion Rupture: An X-Ray Diffraction Study. PLoS One 2(11): e1147. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001147


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Synchrotron Radiation Illuminates How Babies' Protective Bubble Bursts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106201945.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, November 7). Synchrotron Radiation Illuminates How Babies' Protective Bubble Bursts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106201945.htm
Public Library of Science. "Synchrotron Radiation Illuminates How Babies' Protective Bubble Bursts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106201945.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins