Mother Infant Research Institute (MIRI)
Michael House, MD is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine and a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. House uses a bioengineering strategy to investigate cervical biomechanics, specifically cervical function, as it relates to the cause of spontaneous premature birth.
Preterm birth affects nearly 10 % of all pregnancies in the United States. Although preterm birth is a complex disorder, abnormalities of the cervix are involved in a significant number of preterm deliveries. Cervical shortening and cervical insufficiency are prominent features of preterm birth in many pregnant women. The objective of our research is to study the biomechanical mechanisms of cervical shortening and insufficiency in pregnancy.
Our research includes: 1) studies of three-dimensional (3D) anatomic changes associated with cervical shortening and 2) investigation of biochemical and mechanical properties of cervical tissue. This research is valuable for understanding why the cervix stays closed in normal pregnancy but shortens and opens in preterm birth.