Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nanoparticles to probe mystery sperm defects behind infertility

This is boar sperm mixed with mesoporous silica nanoparticles that have been tagged with fluorescent green dye for identification. These nanoparticles were developed by Oxford University researchers to investigate 'mystery' cases of infertility. They can be loaded with any compound to identify, diagnose or treat the causes of infertility.

Credit: Natalia Barkalina/Oxford University
This is boar sperm mixed with mesoporous silica nanoparticles that have been tagged with fluorescent green dye for identification. These nanoparticles were developed by Oxford University researchers to investigate 'mystery' cases of infertility. They can be loaded with any compound to identify, diagnose or treat the causes of infertility.

Credit: Natalia Barkalina/Oxford University

Abstract:
A way of using nanoparticles to investigate the mechanisms underlying 'mystery' cases of infertility has been developed by scientists at Oxford University.

Nanoparticles to probe mystery sperm defects behind infertility

Oxford, UK | Posted on November 15th, 2013

The technique, published in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, could eventually help researchers to discover the causes behind cases of unexplained infertility and develop treatments for affected couples. The method involves loading porous silica nanoparticle 'envelopes' with compounds to identify, diagnose or treat the causes of infertility.

The researchers demonstrated that the nanoparticles could be attached to boar sperm with no detrimental effects on their function.

'An attractive feature of nanoparticles is that they are like an empty envelope that can be loaded with a variety of compounds and inserted into cells,' says Dr Natalia Barkalina, lead author of the study from the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Oxford University. 'The nanoparticles we use don't appear to interfere with the sperm, making them a perfect delivery vessel.

'We will start with compounds to investigate the biology of infertility, and within a few years may be able to explain or even diagnose rare cases in patients. In future we could even deliver treatments in a similar way.'

Sperm are difficult to study due to their small size, unusual shape and short lifetime outside of the body. Yet this is a vital part of infertility research, as senior author Dr Kevin Coward explains: 'To discover the causes of infertility, we need to investigate sperm to see where the problems start. Previous methods involved complicated procedures in animals and introduced months of delays before the sperm could be used.

'Now, we can simply expose sperm to nanoparticles in a petri dish. It's so simple that it can all be done quickly enough for the sperm to survive perfectly unharmed.'

The team, based at the Institute of Reproductive Sciences, used boar sperm because of its similarities to human sperm, as study co-author Celine Jones explains: 'It is similar in size, shape and activity. Now that we have proven the system in boar sperm, we hope to replicate our findings in human sperm and eventually see if we can use them to deliver compounds to eggs as well.'

The research was an interdisciplinary effort, involving reproductive biologists from the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and nanoscientists from the Department of Engineering Science led by Dr Helen Townley.

The study was funded by the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Oxford University and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). This technique is the subject of patent applications held by Isis Innovation, Oxford University's technology transfer arm.

###

A report of the research, entitled 'Effects Of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Upon The Function Of Mammalian Sperm In Vitro', is published in this month's Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine.

The US provisional patent application number for the technique is 61/747781

####

About University of Oxford
Oxford University's Medical Sciences Division is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Europe, with over 2,500 people involved in research and more than 2,800 students. The University is rated the best in the world for medicine, and it is home to the UK's top-ranked medical school.

From the genetic and molecular basis of disease to the latest advances in neuroscience, Oxford is at the forefront of medical research. It has one of the largest clinical trial portfolios in the UK and great expertise in taking discoveries from the lab into the clinic. Partnerships with the local NHS Trusts enable patients to benefit from close links between medical research and healthcare delivery.

A great strength of Oxford medicine is its long-standing network of clinical research units in Asia and Africa, enabling world-leading research on the most pressing global health challenges such as malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS and flu. Oxford is also renowned for its large-scale studies which examine the role of factors such as smoking, alcohol and diet on cancer, heart disease and other conditions.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
University of Oxford Press Office

44-018-652-80528

Copyright © University of Oxford

If 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.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

Copper shines as flexible conductor August 29th, 2014

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices August 28th, 2014

PetLife Comments on CNN Story on Scorpion Venom Health Benefits August 27th, 2014

Discoveries

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

Copper shines as flexible conductor August 29th, 2014

Announcements

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014

Blacktrace Holdings Ltd. to in-license PerkinElmer Technology August 8th, 2014

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of Patent-Pending, 2D Materials Composite Index™ : The Initial 2D Materials Composite Index™ for Q2 2014 Is: 857.3; Founders Include World-Renowned Physicist and Seasoned Business and IP Professionals July 24th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE