Feb 8, 2016

3D-printed ‘spermbots’ could fix lazy sperm to treat male infertility

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, cyborgs

A team of researchers from Germany have developed what could become a revolutionary treatment for male infertility — they build spermbots. The key is a tiny metal helix that attaches to individual sperm cells, allowing them to move more effectively. You can think of it like a prosthetic tail for sperm.

Male fertility issues are usually not related to having an unusually low sperm count, but to having sperm with low motility. That is, they don’t get around very well. Each sperm has a copy of half of a man’s genome in the “head” portion. The tail is actually a flagella with banks of energy-producing mitochondria to power its movement. If either the tail or power source don’t work correctly, a sperm cell will have trouble reaching and fertilizing an egg.

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