Jessica Ramella-Roman, Florida International University

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Prof. Jessica Ramella-Roman from Florida International University is visiting us from october 11th to 15th. Her field of expertise is bio-photonics and focuses on the development of non-invasive methods for probing biological tissues.
She will give a seminar on Tuesday, October 12th at 11 AM in Pierre Cotton room

Title : Polarized light imaging of the uterine cervix for non-invasive and label-free assessment of preterm labor risk

Abstract : Preterm birth (PTB) presents a serious, worldwide medical health concern. The incidence of PTB in both developed and developing countries ranges from 11% to 18%. Despite ongoing research into the causes and treatments, the incidence of PTB has not shown any significant decline in the past decade. Part of the lack of treatment for PTB is due to a paucity of accurate and quantifiable methods for prediction of time to labor onset. We utilize a non-invasive polarization sensitive optical imaging approach to specifically assess cervical collagen changes during pregnancy which are hallmarks associated with PTB. In this talk we will illustrate both our ex-vivo work utilizing a Self-validating Mueller matrix micro-mesoscope (SAMMM) and Machine Learning approaches for classification of elastin and collagen fibers in the pregnant animal cervix as well as the application of polarization-based imagery to clinical applications. This work responds to the critical need of the general healthcare community for a minimally invasive modality to monitor cervical remodeling during pregnancy as a readout of preterm birth risk.