Navigation Links
Virginia Tech's De Vita receives government's highest of engineering honors to study pelvic disorder

In 2012, Raffaella De Vita received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Development (CAREER) Award to lead a national study on pelvic floor disorders, affecting some one third of adult American women.

Today, De Vita, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech, is one of 102 researchers named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

The PECASE award will enhance her ongoing efforts of the five-year CAREER award.

The PECASE winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, ceremony in the coming year.

Pelvic floor disorders include urinary and/or fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse that occurs when the pelvic organs protrude into, or out of, the vaginal canal.

In the United States, the cost for pelvic organ prolapse surgeries alone is more than $1 billion annually, not counting costs associated with lost productivity or decreased quality of life. Women who suffer the disorder experience great pain and discomfort. Not much is known about pelvic floor disorders including prolapse because these disorders are not talked about as openly as, say, breast cancer, in the general population.

De Vita is working with several collaborative research partners including the Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Washington, D.C., and the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.

Her strategy is to determine the elastic and viscoelastic properties of two major ligaments supporting the uterus and the vagina: the uterosacral and the cardinal ligaments. She and her colleagues are characterizing the roles these ligaments play as supportive structures of the uterus and the vagina. Using a specific type of X-ray diffraction imaging, they will then conduct further mechanical testing to learn new details about the microstructure of the ligaments.

"This project could potentially transform surgical reconstruction methods and post-operative rehabilitation procedures for female suffering from pelvic floor disorders," De Vita said. With the new knowledge about the ligaments, De Vita believes they will be able to: establish new guidelines in surgical reconstruction methods and protocols; design biocompatible surgical grafts; and develop safe stretching routines.

"The lack of standardized stretching routines and surgical methods, which are based on scientific rather than empirical evidence, continues to be one of the major problems in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders," De Vita added.

She also hopes to determine the structural and mechanical alterations that occur in human pelvic connective tissues during pregnancy, vaginal delivery, aging, and other pathological conditions including spinal cord injuries leading to pelvic floor disorders.

De Vita serves as the director of Virginia Tech's Mechanics of Soft Biological Systems Laboratory.


Contact: Lynn Nystrom
Virginia Tech

Related biology news :

1. Virginia Tech research overturns assumption about mercury in the Arctic
2. Virginia Tech researchers explore natural way to displace harmful germs from household plumbing
3. Widespread but neglected disease a health threat in Africa, Virginia Tech researchers say
4. Biofilms help Salmonella survive hostile conditions, Virginia Tech researchers say
5. Natures phenomena might teach Virginia Tech engineers new tricks
6. Virginia Tech adjunct and colleagues refute a study on racial bias report in NIH awards
7. Virginia Tech expands sports concussion-risk studies to include hockey and baseball
8. Virginia Woolf and Neuropsychiatry
9. Virginia Tech computer scientists develop new way to study molecular networks
10. TESARO and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center announce first patient in clinical trial of TSR-011
11. Old deeds, witness trees offer glimpse of pre-settlement forest in West Virginia
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Virginia Tech's De Vita receives government's highest of engineering honors to study pelvic disorder
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Law Enforcement ... offering. --> ) has ... Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) policy ... and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for the Future," ... Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers has worked ... --> --> Synthetic biology promises ... to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now is easier ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... YORK , Oct. 29, 2015 ... technology, announced a partnership with 2XU, a global ... to deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing ... and other athletes to monitor key biometrics to ... the strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) ... of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as of ... corporate developments that would cause the recent movements in ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PUNE, India , November 24, 2015 ... to a new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market ... Equipment), Application (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... 1,078.1 Million in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its Executive ... Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV racing ... this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the community ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a recent market research report released by ... is projected to expand at a CAGR of 17.5% ... titled "Non-invasive Prenatal Testing Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... 2022", estimates the global non-invasive prenatal testing market to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: