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Nottingham technology in heart development breakthrough
Date:2/25/2013

Technology developed at The University of Nottingham has been used in a breakthrough study aimed at developing the first comprehensive model of a fully functioning fetal heart.

The abdominal fetal ECG device, designed originally by academics in the University's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and on commercial sale throughout the world since 2008 through the University spin-out company Monica Healthcare Ltd, has been used to observe living fetal hearts of babies in their mothers' wombs.

The collaborative study led by experts at The University of Leeds has discovered that the walls of the human heart are a disorganised jumble of tissue until relatively late in pregnancy with development much slower compared to other mammals.

Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill, Professor of Electronic Systems and Medical Devices at The University of Nottingham and joint founder and research director at Monica Healthcare said: "It's absolutely fantastic to see our device being used to detect fetal ECG morphology (i.e. ECG shape) in a non-invasive manner from the surface of the maternal abdomen. In this study the Monica device has been specifically deployed to observe the development of the fetal heart as it goes through gestation.

"It's an important development and we are delighted to see Nottingham technology playing such an integral part of the study. We expect that non-invasive morphological analysis during pregnancy and labour will become routine clinical practice in years to come as Monica continues to gain traction in the marketplace."

The fetal heart monitor is a portable, non-invasive device which attaches to the mother's abdomen and measures the electrical activity from the heart of the baby inside her womb. It is currently being used worldwide to monitor fetal heart rates during labour and delivery.

The device uses complex algorithms to correctly identify signals related to the fetal heart rate (FHR) usi
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Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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