By Lauren Huneycutt
To conduct this research, Buxton and his team are collecting uterus cell samples from women willing to donate. They have collected samples from women who are not pregnant, women delivering babies that have reached term and women delivering preterm babies. Buxton believes the answer of how to prevent preterm labor is in these samples.
There is a protein channel in the smooth muscle around the uterus that is activated when a woman is pregnant. In theory, the protein is activated when the uterus muscles are stretched, so it is a mechanically activated response. There are five variants of this protein, and the one activated may determine when a woman delivers her baby.
The goal of the research is to harness which channel is the proper variant for normal 40-week delivery, then learn how to activate it while a woman is in preterm labor. If the proper channel could be activated, it could stop preterm labor.
Lauren Huneycutt can be reached at email@example.com.