In vivo Raman spectroscopy monitors cervical change during labor.


Biochemical cervical change during labor is not well understood, in part, because of a dearth of technologies capable of safely probing the pregnant cervix in vivo. The need for such a technology is 2-fold: (1) to gain a mechanistic understanding of the cervical ripening and dilation process and (2) to provide an objective method for evaluating the cervical state to guide clinical decision-making. Raman spectroscopy demonstrates the potential to meet this need, as it is a noninvasive optical technique that can sensitively detect alterations in tissue components, such as extracellular matrix proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and blood, which have been previously established to change during the cervical remodeling process.