The PLANET Study

What is the PLANET Study?

PLANET stands for Exploring the Role of Plastics and Toxins in Intestinal Inflammation.

At the  Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, researchers are measuring microplastics, which are microscopic plastic particles, to understand impact on health and disease, among women with and without Inflammatory Bowel Disease who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and their newborn baby.

The PLANET Study aims to determine the impact of microplastics on intestinal inflammation and the gut microbiome in order to understand the role of this pollutant on the risk of developing IBD as well as other diseases. With this information, we hope to characterize better the role of environmental pollutants on IBD and develop novel strategies towards prevention.

More information

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Any woman who is currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • You may or may not have Crohn’s disease (CD).

There are 2 groups of participants in this trial:

  1. Women with CD
  2. Women without CD

What does participation involve?

During third trimester of pregnancy:

  • Collection of maternal stool and saliva samples at home
  • Completion of health history questionnaires

At birth:

  • Collection of umbilical cord blood
  • Collection of placenta samples (only collected if delivering at Mount Sinai)
  • Questionnaire about your delivery


  • Collection of baby’s stool at 14 and 30 days
  • Collection of baby’s stool following the microplastic protocol 90 days, and 6 and 12 months after birth
  • Collection of breast milk (if breast-feeding)
  • Completion of diet and infant development questionnaires
  • Optional DNA saliva sample for sequencing

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any cost of travel required to participate?
There is no cost or travel required to participate. All samples are clinical information can be collected by mail or over the phone. We will provide everything needed to collect and ship the samples.

How long will my participation last?
Your participation will last from the beginning of your third trimester through your baby’s first birthday.

Is there compensation for participation?
Participants will be compensated up to $530, which is paid in installments throughout the study period.

Do you need to be local to participate?
No, you do not need to live in New York City to participate. Anyone in the United States can participate.

At what timepoint during my pregnancy can I enroll?
You can enroll at any timepoint before or during your pregnancy.

Is there any risk involved?
There is no risk involved in the collection of stool, saliva, umbilical cord blood, placenta, and breast milk. Your samples will be immediately de-identified upon receipt.

How do I enroll in the study?

Contact our Research Coordinators at 347-620-0210 or for more information or to sign up!