Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists develop greater accuracy in recording baby’s heart rates in the womb

11.08.2003


A team from Imperial College London based at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea, Hammersmith and the Royal Brompton Hospitals has worked with equipment developed by scientists at QinetiQ, Europe’s largest science and technology organisation, to study the heart rate of unborn babies in minute detail.



The technique, reported in this months British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, will allow doctors to monitor the health of babies’ hearts and obtain the full fetal ECG (fECG), particularly during high risk pregnancies, such as where the mother suffers from diabetes or pre-eclampsia or where there is a family history of serious arrhythmia such as Long QT syndrome. These conditions can affect the baby, sometimes resulting in a still birth or sudden death in later life.

Dr Myles J.O. Taylor from Imperial College London and the Hammersmith Hospital comments: “Although it has been possible to record the fECG from the baby in the womb since the 1960’s, the technique has not been totally reliable, as it is difficult to separate the heart rate from background interference. This new technique will allow us to accurately record and analyse the fetal ECG, not just in single pregnancies, but also in multiple pregnancies which we believe is a world first.”


The researchers used electrodes placed on the maternal abdomen to record the data, which are then relayed back to a computer able to process the signals, picking out the baby’s heart signal from background interference, such as from the mother’s heart and external electrical sources.

The equipment uses sophisticated filtering, amplification and signal systems making use of developments in computing and digital signal processing technologies to record this data.

Dr Mark Smith, QinetiQ scientist, who led the team that developed the fECG system, said: “ I am absolutely delighted that the equipment we have developed is getting such excellent results at Queen Charlotte’s.”

The team has studied more than 600 pregnant women so far between fifteen and forty weeks pregnancy including those with twin and triplet pregnancies.

Dr Helena Gardiner, from Imperial College London and the Hammersmith and Royal Brompton Hospitals, adds: “This new technique will be particularly useful in gathering more information about heart function and development in unborn children. Cardiac arrhythmia is believed to be a factor in cot death, and by getting more information on the hearts of unborn babies, it may be possible to detect those at high risk and prevent the devastating effects of some arrhythmias on the fetus and newborn baby.”

Tony Stephenson | alfa

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Disrupted fat breakdown in the brain makes mice dumb
19.05.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>