Scientists created Sperm Obstacle Course called “Spartan” that could help them select the best sperm in IVF, therefore increasing couples’ chances of conceiving. Technique Spartan, consists of a tiny field of posts that sperm cells must swim through. Once they have emerged at the end of the 14 millimetre obstacle course, the fastest sperm are collected to be used in the IVF process.

“With Spartan, we not only get sperm with excellent motility, but also with normal morphology and better DNA integrity, helping families worldwide by reducing the stress of multiple IVF procedures, while potentially increasing pregnancy rates.” said Professor Erkan Tüzel, a biomedical engineer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute who co-led the work.

“This could increase patients’ chances of getting pregnant.”

This new device was created by a team co-led by Erkan Tüzel, associate professor of physics, biomedical engineering, and computer science at WPI, and Utkan Demirci, professor of radiology and electrical engineering (by courtesy) at Stanford University. The work was funded by two separate but collaborative grants from the National Science Foundation and was published in the most recent issue of Advanced Science, a high-impact, peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Spartan is a The microfluidic device, which can be used in clinics, short for Simple Periodic ARray for Trapping And IsolatioN – is an improvement on traditional sperm-sorting techniques that only select for the fastest swimmers.

The device also allows for selection of the healthiest sperm – that is, those lacking defects such as bent necks or oversized heads, which impede their movement.

It also avoids the kind of damage that is sometimes inflicted on sperm using traditional techniques, and can be used with ease by medics in fertility clinics.

 

News Resource – independent.co.uk & technologynetworks.com, January 05, 2018