Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New University Of Leicester Study Offers Hope To Infertile Couples

29.06.2007
A new study from the University of Leicester is investigating whether a naturally produced hormone could provide the key to helping couples conceive.

It will for the first time allow researchers to see how important the hormone –relaxin- is for human pregnancy

As part of her doctoral studies, Abigail Thompson is exploring the role that the relaxin hormone has in achieving a successful pregnancy. If the study is successful it is hoped that use of this hormone may improve fertility rates and help infertile couples to conceive.

Details of the study were made public today (Friday June 29) at a Festival of Postgraduate Research at the University of Leicester.

Abigail, a Human Reproductive Biologist in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, said: “Achieving a successful pregnancy is becoming ever more difficult for an increasing number of couples, young and old, with one in six couples experiencing difficulties conceiving.

“Implantation of the embryo into the uterus 6 or 7 days after fertilisation is essential to achieve pregnancy and its failure is a major cause of sterility, presenting a social and economic burden worldwide. Assisted reproductive technologies which can help to reduce levels of infertility are used by 27,000 couples a year in Britain alone. Despite this, the success rates remain low and the costs of fertility treatments stay high.”

Funded by EMBIC, the European Network of Excellence on Embryo Implantation Control, the research project aims to improve these success rates by determining factors which affect the implantation process.

The Leicester study is exploring the role of the hormone relaxin which is expressed during the first trimester of pregnancy in women.

Abigail said: “The role of this hormone in human pregnancy is poorly understood, however, it is known that in pig and rat pregnancy it plays an important role in widening of the birth canal and softening of the cervix during the third trimester, preparing these animals for labour.

“It is hypothesised that this hormone in humans may be involved in the implantation process of pregnancy, through softening of the uterine tissue at the site of implantation, allowing the embryo to obtain nutrients from the mother and for the placenta to eventually form.

“My research will involve using a model system to localise the relaxin hormone at the point of attachment and implantation of the embryo into the uterus, and to study its affects at this point.

“This work will for the first time allow us to see how important this hormone is for human pregnancy and could be a step towards improving fertility rates and infertility treatments worldwide, helping infertile couples to conceive.”

EMBIC is a European Union network of excellence on embryo implantation control, concentrating the research potential of 19 leading European institutions and 2 private companies in 11 countries for an improved understanding of infertility and its causes.

The research is being presented to the public at the University of Leicester on June 29. The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience.

More information on the Festival of Postgraduate Research at: http://www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival/

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>