Knowing the molecular dialogue between the mother and the embryo in the first moments after fertilization opens a door to an unknown world of research and development.
The in vivo study of the molecular behavior of the embryo in its early presence (without altering, manipulating, or intervening in its natural environment) enables advancement in the understanding of early embryonic and fetal physiology. This would allow the initiation of immediate prenatal care, promoting the development of a maternal-embryonic medicine paradigm.
The determination of the expression, presence and concentration of biomolecules in different types of biological samples, such as cervical mucus, saliva, blood, urine, cervical cytological exfoliates, umbilical cord blood and placenta could give a prognosis of pregnancy and the risk of diseases that could affect the embryo or its mother.
Advances in molecular biology techniques and tools in recent decades have made it possible to investigate gene expression on a large scale, with high sensitivity and specificity, and then apply proteomic or immunoassay techniques on specific molecular candidates, either in a physiological or pathological condition. However, since there is currently no way to detect pregnancy from its onset (current tests only allow detection after the first weeks after fertilization), it is necessary to create a pre-conception and follow-up cohort during the pregnancy, collecting and storing fluid samples in advance, during one or more active fertile cycles in women seeking pregnancy.
A bidirectional cohort of this type will allow prospective follow-up studies to be carried out by recording different outcomes during the course of pregnancy and then retrospectively identifying possible candidates useful as biomarkers for subsequent clinical research in the repository of previously-stored biological samples.
The objective of this project is the search for early biomarkers from maternal biological samples, for the investigation of pregnancy and its outcome.
Women will be followed throughout a menstrual cycle that ends in a full-term pregnancy, taking samples of different body fluids to later determine the time of ovulation through hormonal measurement and ultrasound monitoring of follicular development.
Pregnancy will be determined by measurement of the hormone BHCG and ultrasound scans that determine embryonic and fetal development.
¿What is the Signature of Human Conception?
The signature of human conception is a snapshot at the molecular level that allows the identification of unique expression patterns of biological markers of the pregnancy process from ovulation to implantation.
Proteomic analysis methodology
After exhaustive work, we have been able to develop a robust, replicable, and standardized sample extraction and analysis technique.
Below we further explain our methodology for the analysis of cervicovaginal fluid
Menstrual Samples Biobank
Our clinical team collects tissue samples that are securely received, processed, and stored in our state-of-the-art Biorepository, allowing our team of researchers to work with samples that will help us advance new breakthrough discoveries that will impact the wellbeing of patients.
Sample integrity is essential for laboratory research best practices. Our cold storage unit is equipped with -80 °C freezer banks and liquid nitrogen storage tanks, currently providing our Biorepository with the capacity of preserving 1,400 liters of samples.