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.
Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash
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.
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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Endometrial cells passing through a microchannel
A video of endometrial stromal cells as they flow inside our narrow microchannel as being processed by our machine vision code to measure their velocity (in pixels/sec). This velocity is a direct measure of the cell stiffness (a higher velocity means lower stiffness).
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