The management and treatment of pelvic organ prolapse in the United States currently exceeds one billion dollars in costs annually. Elastin, the principle protein component of the elastic fiber, imparts vertebrate tissues such as the heart, lungs and skin with remarkable elasticity. The loss of elastin architecture and function is a pathological characteristic of a number of human degenerative and genetic disorders, and is believed to play a critical role in the vagina and in the pathophysiology of pelvic organ prolapse. The central hypothesis of this proposal is that vaginal birth degrades structural and dynamical properties of vaginal elastin compared to cesarean delivery. The objectives of this proposal are to quantitatively investigate the effects of modes of delivery on the structure of elastin of the vagina by pursuing two independent aims.
The first aim of the proposal is to measure the structural and dynamical properties of lysine, proline, valine, glycine and alanine rich segments of elastin of the vagina following various modes of delivery. A key characteristic of this protein that distinguishes it from other elastomers is that its function hinges on hydration only hydrated elastin retains its elasticity.
The second aim of the proposal is to measure the dynamics of water in vaginal elastin following various modes of delivery. This project will make use of nuclear magnetic resonance methods for these measurements. The proposal is interdisciplinary and encompasses biology, chemistry and physics. The methodology includes conventional carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance techniques that rely on magic angle spinning technology. In addition, the project will involve the use of non-commercial pulsed gradient fields, developed by the PI, to study time-dependent diffusion of water in elastin. The PI of the proposal is an Assistant Professor of Physics with significant expertise in nuclear magnetic resonance methodology and research experience in elastin. The PI was previously funded for four years under an NIH SC1 proposal. This proposal is a renewal application requesting four additional years of funding. This continued funding will assist the PI to transition to non-SCORE support by following a stepwise developmental plan provided in the biosketch.

Public Health Relevance

The aim of this effort is to investigate the effects of mode of birth on elastin degradation in the vagina, using a murine model. The findings of this study will provide detailed insight into the role of elastin degradation, resulting from different modes of delivery, in pelvic organ prolapse. This innovative study will offer a paradigm for clinicians to measure exactly the effects of various interventions on vaginal elastin structure.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Enhancement Award (SC1)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-TWD-7 (DF))
Program Officer
Wehrle, Janna P
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Brooklyn College
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New York
United States
Zip Code
Rathod, Pratikkumar; Kaur, Manjeet; Ho, Hsin-Pin et al. (2018) Quantification of desmosine and isodesmosine using MALDI-ion trap tandem mass spectrometry. Anal Bioanal Chem 410:6881-6889
Asakura, Tetsuo; Isobe, Kotaro; Kametani, Shunsuke et al. (2017) Characterization of water in hydrated Bombyx mori silk fibroin fiber and films by 2H NMR relaxation and 13C solid state NMR. Acta Biomater 50:322-333
Zhang, Yanhang; Li, Jiangyu; Boutis, Gregory S (2017) The Coupled Bio-Chemo-Electro-Mechanical Behavior of Glucose Exposed Arterial Elastin. J Phys D Appl Phys 50:
Papaioannou, Antonios; Novikov, Dmitry S; Fieremans, Els et al. (2017) Observation of structural universality in disordered systems using bulk diffusion measurement. Phys Rev E 96:061101
Dhital, Basant; Durlik, Philip; Rathod, Pratikkumar et al. (2017) Ultraviolet radiation reduces desmosine cross-links in elastin. Biochem Biophys Rep 10:172-177
Bilici, Kubra; Morgan, Steven W; Silverstein, Moshe C et al. (2016) Mechanical, structural, and dynamical modifications of cholesterol exposed porcine aortic elastin. Biophys Chem 218:47-57
Dhital, Basant; Gul-E-Noor, Farhana; Downing, Keith T et al. (2016) Pregnancy-Induced Dynamical and Structural Changes of Reproductive Tract Collagen. Biophys J 111:57-68
Silverstein, Moshe C; Bilici, K├╝bra; Morgan, Steven W et al. (2015) 13C, 2h NMR studies of structural and dynamical modifications of glucose-exposed porcine aortic elastin. Biophys J 108:1758-1772
Papaioannou, A; Louis, M; Dhital, B et al. (2015) Quantitative comparison of structure and dynamics of elastin following three isolation schemes by 13C solid state NMR and MALDI mass spectrometry. Biochim Biophys Acta 1854:391-401
Gul-E-Noor, Farhana; Singh, Chandan; Papaioannou, Antonios et al. (2015) The Behavior of Water in Collagen and Hydroxyapatite Sites of Cortical Bone: Fracture, Mechanical Wear, and Load Bearing Studies. J Phys Chem C Nanomater Interfaces 119:21528-21537

Showing the most recent 10 out of 24 publications