Entries by Academic Web Pages

Imaging Angiogenesis and Placental Function

Preeclampsia, a hypertensive disorder, is estimated to affect 5% to 10% of pregnancies. An initiating factor in the development of the disease is placental hypoxia. Using photoacoustic imaging, we have successfully monitored longitudinal, in vivo placental oxygenation in normal pregnancy and the reduced uterine perfusion pressure (RUPP) model of preeclampsia. Our current aim is to investigate the effect two potential therapies for preeclampsia have on placental hypoxia and maternal/fetal outcome.

Imaging Transport Across the Maternal-Fetal Barrier

When combined with contrast agents, photoacoustic imaging can be used to investigate the transport of key molecules across the placental barrier. For example, placental transport of folate, a critical nutrient for development, may be altered in the presence of specific medications. How the presence of specific medications changes the folate available to the fetus is being studied with our imaging techniques. This work is funded by a Research Competitiveness Subprogram grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Clinical Translation of Photoacoustic Imaging

Photoacoustic imaging opens a new path to assess medical conditions where in vivo measurements are critical. Our aim is to study light delivery systems, the interaction of light with human placental tissue, and improve the depth resolution of photoacoustic imaging. Successful detection of placental hypoxia will allow us to noninvasively monitor the effect of placental ischemia during human pregnancy. The goal of this project is to develop methods to use photoacoustic imaging to monitor placental oxygenation in a clinical setting.

Lab work wins prize at Tulane poster competition

Congratulation to Karease Quashie for her second place prize at the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) poster competition! Karease, a visiting student from Emory University, spent the summer with the BFIL investigating the efficacy of targeting nanodroplets to the placenta.

BFIL Community Outreach

This week, 7th grade students from Audubon school visited the lab as part of Tulane BME’s STEM outreach efforts. The students attended various workshops including the BFIL run “From light to sound: A demonstration of the Photoacoustic Effect”