Expanding our 3D ultrasound imaging research


“Over the last two years, we have received two research grants to expand our research into 3D fetal ultrasound imaging!”

In 2021, we received €100.000 from the Amsterdam Reproduction and Development (AR&D) Research Institute to develop ultrasound-based 3D fetal heart models intended to enhance sonographer training in screening for fetal cardiac abnormalities. We have presented the first results of this project in Geneva during the 55th annual meeting of the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC) congress. You can find the poster presentation of this project <PDF poster>.

In 2022, we were awarded with another AR&D grant to study early human pregnancies including the developing placenta (trophoblast) and vital early extra-embryonic structures (yolk sac, fetal membranes and allantois) using 3D ultrasound and micro-CT imaging for the creation of an educational 3D reference series. For this study, we will image early staged ectopic pregnancies located in the fallopian tube which were surgically removed and donated to the Dutch Fetal Biobank. This allows us to study these early-staged pregnancies in their natural environment and with the vital extra-embryonic tissues left intact, which are often damaged when studied using traditional techniques (i.e. histology) to study the developing embryo.

Delineating development of trophoblast/placenta, yolk sac, fetal membranes and allantois in relation to the developing embryo will provide further insight in early human genesis and might eventually present the grounds for better understanding the cause of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and placental dysfunction.