More than 10 percent of pregnant women develop serious complications during pregnancy. The underlying cause is often a poorly functioning placenta, the organ that nourishes and maintains the fetus.
A new study by an international team of researchers, including UC Santa Barbara’s Erkki Ruoslahti, has found a way to bolster the placenta during pregnancy. The discovery could one day help prevent some premature births and treat complications such as preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure and sometimes fluid retention. The findings appear in the journal Science Advances.