Document Detail

Bioengineering aspects of the umbilical cord.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19304367     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The umbilical cord and its constituent tissues: an outer layer of amnion, porous Wharton's jelly, two umbilical arteries, and one umbilical vein, are designed to protect blood flow to the fetus during a term pregnancy. The outer amnion layer may regulate fluid pressure within the umbilical cord. The porous, fluid filled Wharton's jelly likely acts to prevent compression of the vessels. Blood flow is regulated by smooth muscle surrounding the arteries that is intermingled with a collagen based extracellular matrix (ECM). Doppler ultrasound measurements of blood flow within the umbilical cord, and at specific sites within the developing fetus, provide evidence of impaired blood flow in conditions such as preeclampsia. Mechanosensory communication between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) may likely result in cords possessing abnormal physical dimensions, impaired hemodynamics, and altered composition within the umbilical cord tissues. Few studies have explored the biomechanics of the intact umbilical cord, with its constituent tissues, from normal pregnancies or abnormal pregnancies, maternal or fetal complications. Here, alterations in the umbilical cord are reviewed concerning anatomical abnormalities, disease, or chromosomal alterations using sonography, Doppler ultrasound, histology, and biomolecular and biochemical analyses. This paper considers how current knowledge of the umbilical cord and its constituent tissues can be used to infer biomechanical function. In addition, the mechanical consequences of structural abnormalities and altered tissue structure or composition are discussed with a specific focus on preeclampsia.
Virginia L Ferguson; Reuben B Dodson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2009-03-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology     Volume:  144 Suppl 1     ISSN:  1872-7654     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur. J. Obstet. Gynecol. Reprod. Biol.     Publication Date:  2009 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-04-10     Completed Date:  2009-07-13     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375672     Medline TA:  Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S108-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0429, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
Regional Blood Flow
Umbilical Cord / anatomy & histology,  physiology*,  ultrastructure

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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