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Hearty Congratulations to former MANSAG President Professor Dilly Anumba and colleagues at the University of Sheffield: Dr Timothy James, Professor Simon Dixon, Professor Stephen Walters and Mrs Mags Openshaw, on the recent award of £792,753 from the NIHR i4i scheme to develop and test a clinical grade magnetic impedance spectroscopy device for assessment of the cervix in pregnant women to predict preterm birth.
Preterm birth (PTB) complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age,and is responsible for nearly 1 million deaths annually. The prediction and prevention of PTB remain challenging because current methods, such as measuring the cervix by ultrasound, have limited accuracy. Prof. Anumba and his team have been studying whether we can detect the changes in cervical tissue structure and composition that precede PTB and recently showed that women at high risk of PTB (history of previous PTB), who deliver preterm, including delivery before 28 weeks gestation, have lower cervical “resistance” in mid-pregnancy than those who deliver at term. With NIHR funding, they have developed a new device, based on a technique called magnetic impedance spectroscopy (MIS), that should address limitations of the EIS device for assessing PTB risk. They now want to refine the new MIS device by minimising the signals it receives from other tissues around the cervix and making its measurements at internal body temperature more stable.
This award is a fantastic achievement, and the successful completion of this project will likely have a significant influence on healthcare.