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New Frontier in Fertility: Tiny Robot-Assisted Sperm

Image: New Frontier in Fertility: Tiny Robot-Assisted Sperm
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By    |   Friday, 15 Jan 2016 12:06 PM

It sounds more like science fiction than cutting-edge medicine. But British researchers have created tiny new motorized robots that can help deliver sperm to an egg to aid fertility.

The nearly microscopic “spermbots” may one day be used to help women trying to conceive by delivering sperm that don't swim well to an egg.

Poor swimming ability is one of the main causes of infertility. To give such sperm cells a boost, women trying to conceive can turn to artificial insemination or other assisted reproduction techniques, but they are expensive and often unsuccessful.

In an attempt to improve these odds, scientists from the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences at IFW Dresden in Germany have developed motorized "spermbots,” according to a report in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

The researchers constructed tiny metal motors — just large enough to fit around the tail of a sperm — 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 fertilization, and then release it.

The researchers say that 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.

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British researchers have created tiny new motorized robots that can help deliver sperm to an egg to aid fertility.
robot, assisted, sperm, fertility, treatment
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2016-06-15
Friday, 15 Jan 2016 12:06 PM
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