Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Virginia L. Ferguson

Second Advisor

Karen Jonscher

Third Advisor

Wei Tan


Fetal membranes were collected from term, vaginal deliveries with no known pregnancy-related complications. Samples were collected from spontaneously rupturing (SROM; n=5) and artificially rupturing (AROM; n=2) membranes. For each membrane, samples were taken proximal to and distal from the rupture initiation site. Mass spectrometry identified several proteins involved in assembly, wound response and immune response as differentially expressed between the placental and rupture regions. In particular, basement membrane proteins including fibrillin and laminin were observed exclusively in the artificially rupturing samples, and fibrinogen was found in the rupture region in AROM but not SROM samples. Talin and vinculin, proteins involved in focal adhesions, were observed exclusively in AROM rupture.