The relatively limited understanding of the physi- ology of uterine activation prevents us from achieving optimal clinical outcomes for managing serious pregnancy disorders such as preterm birth or uterine dystocia. There is increasing aware- ness that multi-scale computational modeling of the uterus is a promising approach for providing a qualitative and quantitative description of uterine physiology. The overarching objective of such approach is to coalesce previously fragmentary information into a predictive and testable model of uterine activity that, in turn, informs the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to these pressing clinical problems. This article assesses current progress towards this goal. We summarize the electrophysiological basis of uterine activation as presently understood and review recent research approaches to uterine modeling at different scales from single cell to tissue, whole organ and organism with particular focus on transformative data in the last decade. We describe the positives and limitations of these approaches, thereby identifying key gaps in our knowledge on which to focus, in parallel, future computational and biological research efforts.
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- uterine physiology
- computational modeling
- uterine activity