- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
Loes Segerink, a researcher at UT's MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, has developed a "fertility chip" that can accurately count sperm and measure their motility. The chip can be inserted into a compact device for one-off use. A future home test kit will make it possible for men to test their sperm in a familiar environment. As a result, there is a greater chance of obtaining a correct diagnosis, also the method is simple and inexpensive. Segerink's doctoral defence will take place on 4 November 2011.
Concentration and motility
The lab-on-a-chip developed by Segerink measures sperm concentration: the fertility standard states that a millilitre of ejaculate should contain at least 20 million sperm. A second important aspect of fertility is motility. This too can be measured using the lab-on-a-chip. Simple home test kits are already commercially available. These indicate whether the concentration is "above or below the standard value". These tests are too limited, however, as they do not give accurate concentration readings.
To swim or not to swim
Finally, sperm movement (motility) is another important measure of quality. A small adjustment of the lab-on-a-chip is all that is needed to sort motile sperm from non-motile sperm, after which both can be counted separately. By measuring sperm motility in this way, the chip offers a truly complete test.
How does it work
On the chip, sperm flow through a liquid-filled channel, beneath electrode "bridges". When a cell passes beneath one of these electrodes, there is a brief fluctuation in the electrical resistance. These events are counted. To test the reliability of her concentration measurements, Segerink added microspheres (tiny balls) to the liquid. Would the system only count sperm, or would it also register other particles? She found that the method was selective enough to distinguish sperm from microspheres. The system was also able to reliably distinguish white blood cells from other bodies. In addition to being an indicator of sperm quality, the white cell count provides important additional information to gynaecologists.
Segerink developed the "fertility chip" in the BIOS Lab-on-a-Chip research group of Prof. Albert van den Berg, in collaboration with the Twente Medical Spectrum. The research group is part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente. Various companies (PigGenetics, Blue4Green, R&R Mechatronics, Menzis, and Lionix) also participated in this project, which was funded by the STW Technology Foundation in The Netherlands.
In 2011, Segerink received a Valorisation Grant, as a first step towards establishing a company. This will provide her with a platform for refining the fertility chip and its accompanying read-out device into a market-ready product.
For more information, please click here
Wiebe van der Veen
+31 (0)53 4894244
Copyright © University of TwenteIf you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
News and information
This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015
Visualizing How Radiation Bombardment Boosts Superconductivity: Atomic-level flyovers show how impact sites of high-energy ions pin potentially disruptive vortices to keep high-current superconductivity flowing May 23rd, 2015
Optical nanoantennas set the stage for a NEMS lab-on-a-chip revolution February 24th, 2015
Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015
Effective Nano-Micelles Designed in Iran to Treat Cancer May 20th, 2015
Efficiency record for black silicon solar cells jumps to 22.1 percent: Aalto University's researchers improved their previous record by over 3 absolute percents in cooperation with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya May 18th, 2015
Organic nanoparticles, more lethal to tumors: Carbon-based nanoparticles could be used to sensitize cancerous tumors to proton radiotherapy and induce more focused destruction of cancer cells, a new study shows May 18th, 2015