Uterus Modeling from Cell to Organ Level: towards Better Understanding of Physiological Basis of Uterine Activity

Yuhang Xu, Haipeng Liu, Dongmei Hao, Michael Taggart, Dingchang Zheng

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
    85 Downloads (Pure)


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)341-353
    Number of pages13
    JournalIEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
    Early online date11 Sep 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Bibliographical note

    © 2020 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.


    This work was supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [OPP1148910].


    • Uterus
    • computational modeling
    • uterine activity
    • uterine physiology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biomedical Engineering


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