Coordinator: Elisenda Eixarch

The brain is an organ with a long development process, complex and susceptible to different conditions that may occur throughout pregnancy. Our goal is to assess the development of the fetal brain in order to understand this process and select markers that can help us identify children with risk of suffering neurodevelopmental disorders.

What do we do?

We apply advanced technologies, such as assessment of cortical development in ultrasound and resonance imaging, evaluation of the microstructure by spectroscopy and diffusion, as well analysis of brain connections using magnetic resonance (MR) in different conditions such as restricting growth, congenital heart disease and ventriculomegaly.



Coordinator: Montse Palacio

Preterm birth is one of the most common causes of perinatal morbidity and mortality. The prematurity research line focuses on detecting and optimizing management of patients with risk of preterm labor, in order to prolong gestation and improve the neonatal prognosis.

What do we do?

We investigate non-invasive interventions that improve the ability of professional clinicians to deal with risk of premature birth. One of the main research tools in the prematurity line is the quantitative textures analysis of images obtained by ultrasound. This tool may also be useful to better predict the outcome of labor induction.



Coordinator: Teresa Cobo

The presence of intraamniotic infection and the inflammatory response that is generated are the most frequent known causes of spontaneous preterm birth. This research will improve our knowledge of this physiopathological processes.

What do we do?

The use of advanced technologies such as proteomics, metabolomics, DNA sequencing or photonic technologies aims to develop new tools that are fast (hours) and ideally non-invasive (such as cervico-vaginal fluid), which allows translation of scientifical knowledge into clinical management of patients at risk of premature birth.



Coordinator: Fàtima Crispi

There are specific prenatal circumstances that can result in an increased postnatal cardiovascular risk. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), in vitro fertilization techniques (IVF) or prematurity are some of these conditions. Knowing them thoroughly allow us to develop therapies for improving cardiovascular prognosis.

What do we do?

Longitudinal studies combined with animal models and computational models will allow us develop therapies improve the cardiovascular prognosis of children who have suffered IUGR during development.



Coordinators: Elisenda Eixarch and Miriam Illa

The line aims to characterize therapies for improving neurodevelopmental outcomes in intrauterine growth restriction, as well as to develop technological solutions for fetal surgeries.

What do we do?

To characterize any neuroprotective, we evaluate the effects of such therapies in an IUGR rabbit model. To find new technological solutions for fetal surgery, we test it in ex vivo and experimental models before reaching the clinical practice.



Coordinator: Francesc Figueras

This line aims to identify before birth those babies with growth restriction problems that may have an adverse perinatal outcome or a suboptimal neurodevelopment.

What do we do?

The correct definition and diagnosis of IUGR will establish the usefulness of implementing preventive measures during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as therapies during the first childhood.



Coordinator: Lola Gómez-Roig

This line aims to measure the influence of environmental factors, such as exposure to tobacco, alcohol, drugs and environmental toxins (heavy metals and pesticides) in fetal growth restriction or other pregnancy complications.

What do we do?

Our goal is to characterize the effect of this exposure during pregnancy to improve our knowledge and the prediction of complications such as growth restriction.



Coordinator: Fàtima Crispi

What do we do?

BCNatal sample bank in conjunction with the research team at fetal i+D, our mission is to collect, process and make to the scientific community available biological samples from a wide range of pathologies during pregnancy (twin-to-twin transfusion, intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia...) and postnatally, to support different maternofetal research studies. Working with these samples allows us to advance our knowledge about the pathologies during pregnancy and improve the diagnostic possibilities and future therapies.

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Coordinator: Miriam Illa

What do we do?

Our specific tasks are to manage the different work spaces, coordinate procedures, provide administrative, technical and scientific support. The animal model platform is responsible for the management of all the experimental projects in the research team, coordinating UB platform of animal facilities, the IDIBAPS management area, the ethics committee, the biobank platform and other institutions such as the medical imaging platform of IDIBAPS.


Coordinator: Ángela Arranz

What do we do?

Our nurses and psychologists expert in neurodevelopmental keep track of families at all times, both in magnetic resonance procedures or in assessments of children’s capabilities using the Brazelton or Bayleys tests. These tests allow early identification of delays in the development of children. Postnatal follow-up of all patients is an added value for families and research.

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Last update: 20-Nov-2019 3:42 pm