Cell-based Diagnostic for Preeclampsia (Case 1994)

Principal Investigators: 


Surendra Sharma, PhD, Professor

Department of Bio Med Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Brown University
Providence, RI

Brief Description:     

The invention provides a serum-based, diagnostic, biological assay for predicting disorders of pregnancy resulting from poor trophoblast invasion and/or placental ischemia, including preeclampsia. Serum samples from patients with either mild or severe disease, including from presymptomatic patients, significantly disrupts the interaction of fetal trophoblasts and maternal endothelial cells in a three-dimensional, dual cell co-culture system, in contrast to normal pregnancy serum samples. This provides the basis for an assay that can predict pregnancy outcomes as early as in the first trimester.

Pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia have significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, especially when disease onset occurs early in pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific systemic disorder characterized by a cascade of events and symptoms, initiated by impaired trophoblast invasion, decreased placental perfusion, placental ischemia, oxidative stress and imbalance in angiogenic and prothrombotic factors which can lead to apoptosis of trophoblasts. At present there are no reliable and effective assays to predict or test for preeclampsia in early pregnancy. Although attempts to treat or prevent preeclampsia with aspirin, vitamins and other agents have been largely ineffective, a number of potential treatments are in development.


US patent 9,176,120 is issued (11/03/2015)
US patent application 14/834,911 is pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Margaret Shabashevich,
Manager of Operations
Technology Ventures Office
Brown University
401-863-7499 TVO_Patents@brown.edu
Surendra Sharma
Satyan Kalkunte
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