I am working on the development of a virtual placenta model to understand the mechanism of oxygen transport. In order to understand the pathologies of the human placenta, one must first categorize the normal architecture and spatial arrangement of the villous tree. The Geometry of the terminal villi and corresponding fetal vessels, which are the sites of diffusional exchange, are to be reconstructed from Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopic (CLSM) images. Afterwards, finite element analyses will be performed to test the different parameters affecting placental efficiency.
This project is a collaborative project between the Engineering Department and the Centre for Trophoblast Research in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, under the supervision of Dr Michelle Oyen and Professor Graham Burton.