Gynecology & Perinatology

Pregnancy monitoring aims at the assessment of the health condition of mother and fetus in order to enable timely intervention in case of complications such as a high risk of preterm delivery and fetal distress. Critical parameters for pregnancy monitoring are the cardiac activity of the fetus and the contractility of the myometrium (the uterine muscle). Unfortunately, due to the important limitations posed by current pregnancy monitoring techniques, intervention can only be triggered by mother's symptoms, often resulting in ineffective late interventions.

Electrophysiological pregnancy monitoring by electrodes placed on the abdomen of a pregnant woman has been shown, also thanks to the contribution of the BM/d Research team, to be a promising alternative to current approaches. Our focus is the analysis of signals such as the fetal electrocardiogram and the electrohysterogram, which are indicators of the fetal cardiac activity and of the uterine contractility, respectively.

Our research includes validation of new sensing technologies, development of accurate mathematical models describing the involved physiology, and design of dedicated signal processing tools. The ultimate challenge is permitting accurate and noninvasive extraction, analysis, and classification of parameters which are necessary for reliably monitoring the progress of pregnancy and childbirth.

Pregnancy monitoring research is carried out in collaboration with the Máxima Medical Centre in Veldhoven and it is founded by the ErasysBio Plus transnational initiative and by the SEBAN STW project.