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  • The uterine cervix plays a central role in the maintenance of pregnancy and the process of parturition. Untimely cervical ripening may lead to cervical insufficiency, responsible for recurrent spontaneous abortion and preterm birth (PTB), the leading cause of infant death below the age of five.

  • This project aims to design and develop an integrated multi-parametric acoustic imaging system and method that can non-invasively quantify cervical remodeling and explore biological and physiological knowledge of it.

  • A prototype was developed by integrating B-mode Ultrasound (US), Viscoelastography (VE), and spectroscopic Photoacoustic (sPA) imaging modalities around a clinical transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) probe. Ex-vivo and in-vivo studies showed the developed system had the potential to identify and quantify cervical remodeling, thus estimating the risk of PTB.


  1. Yan, Yan, et al. "Photoacoustic imaging of the uterine cervix to assess collagen and water content changes in murine pregnancy." Biomedical optics express 10.9 (2019): 4643-4655.

  2. Yan, Yan, et al. "Spectroscopic photoacoustic imaging of cervical tissue composition in excised human samples." Plos one 16.3 (2021): e0247385.

  3. Yan, Yan, et al. "A longitudinal study of cervical tissue composition changes during normal pregnancy in mice using spectroscopic photoacoustic." Biomedical Spectroscopy, Microscopy, and Imaging II. Vol. 12144. SPIE, 2022.

  4. Mehrmohammadi, Mohammad, et al. "Ultrasound, photoacoustic, and viscoelastic imaging systems and methods for cervical analysis to assess the risk of preterm delivery." U.S. Patent Application No. 16/659,720.

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