Lineo Matsela from Sefako Makgatho University in South Africa together with collaborators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will develop a progesterone-impregnated cervical pessary with strain gauge sensors to identify cervical shortening and dilation and help prevent preterm labor. Preterm birth is a major cause of infant mortality. One of the best predictors is shortening of the cervix, which is currently detected by ultrasound and can then be treated by either vaginal progesterone or a pessary. However, none of these methods are practical in resource-limited settings. They will test different materials for developing an easy-to-use, and inexpensive cervical pessary that is also impregnated with progesterone for steady release, and test it for usability and performance on 40 non-pregnant women.
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