Non-invasive monitoring of blood oxygenation in human placentas via concurrent diffuse optical spectroscopy and ultrasound imaging

Lin Wang, Jeffrey M. Cochran, Tiffany Ko, Wesley B. Baker, Kenneth Abramson, Lian He, David R. Busch, Venki Kavuri, Rebecca L. Linn, Samuel Parry, Arjun G. Yodh, Nadav Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Direct assessment of blood oxygenation in the human placenta can provide information about placental function. However, the monitoring of placental oxygenation involves invasive sampling or imaging techniques that are poorly suited for bedside use. Here we show that placental oxygen haemodynamics can be non-invasively probed in real time and up to 4.2 cm below the body surface via concurrent frequency-domain diffuse optical spectroscopy and ultrasound imaging. We developed a multimodal instrument to facilitate the assessment of the properties of the anterior placenta by leveraging image-reconstruction algorithms that integrate ultrasound information about the morphology of tissue layers with optical information on haemodynamics. In a pilot investigation involving placentas with normal function (15 women) or abnormal function (9 women) from pregnancies in the third trimester, we found no significant differences in baseline haemoglobin properties, but statistically significant differences in the haemodynamic responses to maternal hyperoxia. Our findings suggest that the non-invasive monitoring of placental oxygenation may aid the early detection of placenta-related adverse pregnancy outcomes and maternal vascular malperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1030
Number of pages14
JournalNature Biomedical Engineering
Volume6
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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