Babbs, Charles F., "On a central problem of the Human Placenta Project" (2023). Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Faculty Working Papers. Paper 32.
Date of this Version
abdominal phonogram, antenatal monitoring, biophysics, fetal cardiotachogram, fetal heart rate, fetal heart sounds, fetal phonocardiogram, fPCG, placental function
This brief technical note describes a design concept for a low-cost, painless, noninvasive monitor of total placental blood flow during the third trimester of pregnancy. The approach may offer an overlooked solution to a central problem of the human placenta project. A systems level biophysical analysis shows that jets of blood flow emerging from spiral arteries in the placenta generate characteristic 1/f or “pink noise” which is routinely audible, but typically ignored, during fetal phonocardiography. The amplitude of the 1/f noise, recorded at a standardized location in an individual patient, is a measure of total placental blood flow that is potentially useful for monitoring of placental function and better management of third trimester complications such as preeclampsia and maternal diabetes.