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  1. Noninvasive transabdominal fetal pulse oximetry can provide clinicians critical assessment of fetal health and potentially contribute to improved management of childbirth. Conventional pulse oximetry through continuous wave (CW) light has challenges measuring the signals from deep tissue and separating the weak fetal signal from the strong maternal signal. Here, we propose a new approach for transabdominal fetal pulse oximetry through interferometric near-infrared spectroscopy (iNIRS). This approach provides pathlengths of photons traversing the tissue, which facilitates the extraction of fetal signals by rejecting the very strong maternal signal from superficial layers. We use a multimode fiber combined with a mode-field converter at the detection arm to boost the signal of iNIRS. Together, we can detect signals from deep tissue (>∼1.6 cm in sheep abdomen and in human forearm) at merely 1.1 cm distance from the source. Using a pregnant sheep model, we experimentally measured and extracted the fetal heartbeat signals originating from deep tissue. This validated a key step towards transabdominal fetal pulse oximetry through iNIRS and set a foundation for further development of this method to measure the fetal oxygen saturation.

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  2. Gannot, Israel ; Roodenko, Katy (Ed.)
  3. Abstract

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating degenerative disease characterized by an immunological attack on the myelin sheath leading to demyelination and axon degeneration. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) and secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs) have become attractive targets as therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as MS due to their potent immunomodulatory and regenerative properties. The placenta is a unique source of MSCs (PMSCs), demonstrates “fetomaternal” tolerance during pregnancy, and serves as a novel source of MSCs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMSCs and PMSC‐EVs have been shown to promote remyelination in animal models of MS, however, the molecular mechanisms by which modulation of autoimmunity and promotion of myelination occurs have not been well elucidated. The current review will address the molecular mechanisms by which PMSC‐EVs can promote remyelination in MS.

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  4. Abstract

    Ischemic heart disease represents the leading cause of death worldwide. Heart failure following myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with severe fibrosis formation and cardiac remodeling. Recently, injectable hydrogels have emerged as a promising approach to repair the infarcted heart and improve heart function through minimally invasive administration. Here, a novel injectable human amniotic membrane (hAM) matrix is developed to enhance cardiac regeneration following MI. Human amniotic membrane is isolated from human placenta and engineered to be a thermoresponsive, injectable gel around body temperature. Ultrasound‐guided injection of hAM matrix into rat MI hearts significantly improves cardiac contractility, as measured by ejection fraction (EF), and decrease fibrosis. The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of engineering as an injectable hAM matrix and its efficacy in attenuating degenerative changes in cardiac function following MI, which may have broad applications in tissue regeneration.

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