More women sign up to revolutionary baby study thanks to The Star

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More than a dozen women have signed up to take part in a revolutionary baby study thanks to The Star.

The University of Sheffield is looking into how much better MRI scans are at picking up foetal development brain abnormalities than ultrasound scans are.

Images from the Meridian study

Images from the Meridian study

The Star featured a piece about the research, called the Meridian Research Study, in October in a bid to encourage more women to sign up and take part.

The trial had already scanned women will possible abnormal results, picked up at routine ultrasound scans, and is seeking expectant mothers who have had a ‘normal’ scan to take part.

Following the story, those running the study said 20 woman have been recruited and around 25 more have registered their interest.

Professor Paul Griffiths, professor of radiology at the University of Sheffield’s Academic Unit of Radiology, said: “We are using MRI to study the brains of unborn babies to test how accurate MRI can be. It is possible for us to get some very detailed pictures and videos of the unborn baby.

“Recruitment has improved over the last few months through advertising, word of mouth amongst friends and family and other participants sharing their experience.

“In fact, many women came as a result of reading the previous article in The Star. However we are still looking for more volunteers to take part.”

The scan involves mothers undergoing an MRI scan, which lasts around 30 minutes and poses no danger to an unborn child.

Afterwards parents get a glimpse at their baby when the professor takes them through the most significant images taken during the scan. They also get a priceless video of their baby moving in the womb.

Those who take part receive a £10 shopping voucher and the university is happy to cover any travel costs.

n Women who have undergone a 20 week scan are invited to register their interest by calling 0114 2713584 or emailing