The aim of the BioMod UE_PTL project is to better understand the links existing
between the microscopic phenomenon involved in uterine contractility leading to
labour and the macroscopic electrical activity observed on the abdomen of
pregnant women, the electrohysterogram (EHG). The ultimate goal is to provide
the knowledge to create a clinical tool that can detect the presence of
pathological uterine contractility leading to preterm labour.
The uterus is a very complex and dynamic system, which is controlled by hormonal environment as well as by electric and mechanical feedbacks. Many open questions remain regarding the actual mechanisms leading to onset of labour. The only way to address these questions is through multiscale modeling starting at the biological phenomenon involved in individual uterine cell contractility, leading to the generation of EHG on the abdomen. The model will work as a tool to increase our understanding of the uterine contractile system, to validate or invalidate previously raised hypothesis, and finally to permit the development of tools specific for the prediction of preterm labour. It will integrate the generation of contractile activity at the cell level, communication in bundles of cells, and propagation to the whole organ and to the abdomen, through the complex conduction volume.
The data, acquired from animal and human experiments, will be used to create a model of the behaviour of the uterus.
The results obtained from the models will then be used to guide experimentation and to model the effects of pharmacological agents on the uterus. Apart from disseminating results in the classical manner for scientific and technical research, a separate aim of the project is to develop means to share data and results, both between the partners and with the larger scientific community. As far as we know, there are no data standards for smooth muscle EMG and EHG digital recordings and preterm delivery models. These standards will be developed and set as best practice by the project consortium..