Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New sensor to provide early warning of oxygen loss to unborn children


Researchers at the University of Warwick, and the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, have devised a new sensor which dramatically improves the amount of early warning doctors and midwives get of a dangerous situation in the birth process when the unborn child’s brain is starved of oxygen - Fetal Hypoxia.

The threat of fetal hypoxia carries dangers not only for the child but also for the woman giving birth as doctors often proceed quickly to a caesarean section if they feel there is a significant threat of fetal hypoxia. However current tests for this condition require blood samples to be taken to a lab for examination leading to delays which means doctors having to decide sometimes to proceed with a cesarean section rather than take the risk on waiting on that full analysis.

University of Warwick researcher Professor Nick Dale had been looking at the science surrounding a chemical that can be found in blood called hypoxanthine. An unborn child with more than 5 micromoles (5 millionths of a mole) of hypoxanthine per litre of their blood is at severe risk of fetal hypoxia. Professor Dale was frustrated at the lack of effective instrumentation available to detect and study this chemical and devised his own fine tuned probe to examine the chemical. On talking with colleagues in the University of Warwick’s Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust they pointed out that the probes would be of massive benefit to doctors in the delivery room.

Warwick Medical School researchers have examined the probes and say that the use of Professor Dale’s probes to test for hypoxanthine would give doctors in delivery rooms almost instant data on whether the unborn child faced fetal hypoxia. This would allow doctors to take more informed decisions as to whether to proceed to a caesarean section and probably therefore reduce the number of caesareans conducted. Another advantage is that Professor Dale’s test also requires much less fine tuning than current tests (the blood PH test currently used to detect fetal hypoxia problems needs to identify a shift of as little of 0.05 PH).

Professor Dale is thrilled by the medical interest in his probes and is now working through a spin-out company Sarissa Biomedical Ltd - to take the work further. Sarissa is already talking with a number of medical instrument manufacturers and aims to establish a partnership between Sarissa, a medical instrument manufacturer and venture capitalists to produce a full blown medical instrument using the new probes and then to take it to full clinical trials in hospital delivery rooms.

Richard Fern | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders
29.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

nachricht New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development
28.09.2016 | Lund University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>