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Researcher | Research Overview

Terry Buchmiller's investigations utilize fetal models for in utero studies of congenital abnormalities. Areas of interest include the surgical implantation of amniotic fluid catheters for supplementation studies in two different arenas. The first involves a fetal rabbit model of in uterine growth retardation (IUGR). Experimental amniotic fluid supplementation with hormones including EGF and gastrin has successfully reversed IUGR by increasing small intestinal nutrient absorption.

Current studies are underway to elucidate the molecular events controlling these mechanisms. The second involves a large animal model in which we have created mid-gestational obstructive uropathy by both urachal and bladder outlet ligation in fetal sheep, resulting in Potter’s syndrome with subsequent oligohydramnios and pulmonary hypoplasia. Implanted amniotic fluid catheters are used to reconstitute the amniotic fluid during the remainder of gestation. We have reversed the detrimental effects on pulmonary growth by this intra-amniotic supplementation. Additionally we have examined the working collaborative with Dr. Dario Fauza in examining the effect on renal function and potential predictive urinary markers of renal dysfunction. 

Major research goals:

  • Understand the mechanisms underlying fetal small bowel nutrient transport and motility.
  • Define the role of epidermal growth factor in fetal gut development.
  • Design in utero treatments for intrauterine growth retardation utilizing amniotic fluid supplementation.
  • Validate a fetal model of obstructive uropathy with resultant pulmonary hypoplasia which is reversible with amniotic fluid supplementation.

Researcher | Publications