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Keywords:

  • placenta;
  • National Children's Study;
  • cytokines;
  • biospecimens;
  • pregnancy;
  • maternal fetal exposures;
  • fetal development;
  • developmental biology;
  • biomarkers

ABSTRACT

The placenta provides a unique opportunity to study the prenatal environment of the fetus to better understand subsequent infant and child health and illness. In this article we describe the role of the placenta as a research biospecimen, including placental morphology and cytokine biomarkers. Because of the role of the placenta in contemporary research, members of the perinatal health care team involved in birth have an important role in advancing science.