What is it about?

We discovered that the stiffness of the cells ligning the uterus (endometrial cells) in Endometriosis patients are softer (have lower stiffness) compared to the same cells from healthy women. We also developed a simple microfluidic setup to measure the stiffness of endometrial cells obtained from suspected patients. We envision this as a simpler and lower cost technique to diagnose endometriosis compared to laparoscopic surgery which is the current gold standard for diagnosis of endometriosis.

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Why is it important?

Endometriosis is a medical disorder characterized by migration of endometrial cells from the uterus to the peritoneal cavity, It affects 5-10% of women in their reproductive age and causes chronic pelvic pain, infertility and increased risk of ovarian cancer. Because laparoscopic surgery is an invasive diagnostic technique with associated risks, endometriosis patients can suffer for 8–11 years on average from endometriosis-associated symptoms before a definitive diagnosis is made. Using the microfluidic setup we developed, the diagnosis can be performed within less than two weeks without any surgeries or associated risks.

Perspectives

I am really proud of this study as it was the result of a collaboration between engineers, physicians and biologists to overcome a challenge that called for such interdisciplinary skills. We showed how microfluidics can be used to advance medical diagnostics and hopefully help relief the pain of millions of patients worldwide.

Dr. Mohamed Abdelgawad
American University of Sharjah

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Characterization of Mechanical Signature of Eutopic Endometrial Stromal Cells of Endometriosis Patients, Reproductive Sciences, January 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s43032-019-00042-3.
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