Scientists develop motorised ‘spermbots’ to maximise fertility chances

Thursday, January 14, 2016


London: In a first, German scientists have developed motorised “spermbots” that can deliver poor swimmers that are otherwise healthy to an egg.

Sperms that don’t swim well rank high among the main causes of infertility.

To give these cells a boost, women trying to conceive can turn to artificial insemination or other assisted reproduction techniques but success can be elusive.

Now, building on previous work on micromotors, the researchers from the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences at IFW Dresden, Germany, constructed tiny metal helices just large enough to fit around the tail of a sperm.

Their movements can be controlled by a rotating magnetic field.

Lab testing showed that the motors can be directed to slip around a sperm cell, drive it to an egg for potential fertilisation and then release it.

According to Mariana Medina-Sanchez, Lukas Schwarz, Oliver G Schmidt and colleagues, although much more work needs to be done before their technique can reach clinical testing, the success of their initial demonstration is a promising start.

Artificial insemination is a relatively inexpensive and simple technique that involves introducing sperm to a woman’s uterus with a medical instrument.

Overall, the success rate is on average under 30 percent, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in Britain.

In vitro fertilisation can be more effective but it is a complicated and expensive process.

The report detailing the new finding appeared in ACS’ journal Nano Letters.


Categories: Reproductive Medicine, RESEARCH

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

  More from Reproductive Medicine

Age-related infertility may be caused by scarred ovaries

Real-time imaging of embryo development could pave the way for more effective human reproduction therapies

Genetic pattern linked to IVF failure identified

Scientists develop motorised ‘spermbots’ to maximise fertility chances

Forget IVF, another way to have a baby soon

Data reveals frozen embryos as successful as fresh embryos in IVF

Comments »

No comments yet.

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.