In the United States alone, a half million babies are born preterm; worldwide, the number is an estimated 15 million. Complications associated with preterm birth are the no. 1 cause of death for children under 5, and those who live often face a range of health problems.
But with help from a palm-sized plastic rectangle with a few pinholes in it, BYU researchers are hoping to minimize the problem of premature deliveries. The small chip — integrated microfluidic device if you speak chemistry — is designed to predict, with up to 90 percent accuracy, a woman’s risk for a future preterm birth.
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