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Abstract #2217

Toward quantitative biomarkers of cervical structural health: development of MRI tools for in-vivo mechanical property measurement.

Michael Fernandez 1 , Sachin Jambawalikar 2 , and Kristin Myers 1

1 Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, 2 Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, United States

The mechanical properties of cervical tissue and cervical geometry are crucial factors in the ability of the cervix to withstand mechanical loading from the fetus during the course of pregnancy. Transport of interstitial fluid inside hydrated tissue such as cervical stroma plays an important role in its mechanical response. Permeability is a mechanical property that characterizes bulk fluid transport within a hydrated tissue or material undergoing mechanical loading. The purpose of this study was to explore the coupled relationship between the diffusive properties of a hydrated material (via ADC) as measured by MRI and its corresponding hydraulic permeability measured in-vitro. These results for polyacrylamide hydrogels are a foundation for the characterization of similar relationships in human cervical tissue which can potentially be used as quantitative clinical biomarkers for cervical mechanical properties and preterm birth risk.

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