A team of biomedical engineering masters students at Johns Hopkins have developed a device that they hope will be able to spot oncoming pre-term labor in pregnant women earlier than by using an external tocodynamometer.
The CervoCheck device is meant to be inserted into the vaginal canal/cervical opening where it then can measure electrical signals characteristic of contractions. Prototypes of the device are currently being tested in animals. We sympathize with those who have to insert them into pigs(?).
From Johns Hopkins University:
After much research and brainstorming, the students built a prototype ring made of medical grade biocompatible silicone elastomer. The ring is designed to be compressed and inserted into the vaginal canal at a physician’s office or hospital. Embedded within the ring are sensors designed to pick up electrical signals associated with uterine contractions.
The prototype has not yet been used on human patients, but the students say their early animal test results are promising and that improvement of the system is continuing.
Working with the Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer office, the students and Aina-Mumuney have obtained a provisional patent covering their invention and established CervoCheck, LLC.
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*