Saving Lives Through Early Detection of IUGR via Monitoring Maternal Salivary Enzyme Activities

Organization: 
University of Ottawa
Organization Location: 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This project addresses the problem of early detection of Fetal Growth Restriction syndrome or Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) during pregnancy. This is crucial for fetal and maternal health. Currently there is no effective method available. Herein a new diagnostic procedure will be developed that will allow early detection of IUGR in pregnant women by measuring the activities of 5 enzymes namely Amylase, Arginase, Pepsin, Cysteine Proteases and MMP9 in maternal saliva. The rationale is based on scientific observation that the activities of above enzymes are upregulated during onset and progression of IUGR. In this proposal highly selective and sensitive solid phase assays will be developed for measuring the activities of 3 proteolytic enzymes namely Pepsin, MMP9 and Cysteine proteases. The activities of these and two other nonproteolytic enzymes Arginase and Amylase will be measured (using available methods) in saliva of pregnant women, both normal and IUGR group. The data will be compared between the two groups. We expect that it will lead to an effective method for early detection of IUGR based on above enzyme activities in maternal saliva. This is a simple, convenient, noninvasive diagnostic procedure for early detection of IUGR, providing an opportunity for early intervention and treatment for IUGR for reducing birth mortality and improving  the health of pregnant women.

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