Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

"Picturing infertility" – potential to distinguish fertile and infertile human sperm cells

18.05.2010
RUB researchers draw precise 3D chemical landscapes using non-invasive methods

Scientists from Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a non-invasive technique that within seconds can distinguish healthy fertile and infertile sperm cells by collecting the spectral chemical fingerprint. The method has the potential for a novel fertility technology and a test scheme which does not only rely on morphological characteristics, but also utilizes chemical signatures. These findings are of fundamental significance and are thus featured as a Highlight in „Chemical Biology“ and in the News section of „Chemistry World" of the Royal Society of Chemistry in May.

Nature has optimized the main function of sperm cells in a similar way to race cars. These cells consist of sub-cellular organelles that contain, for example, mitochondria. Mitochondria are the power stations supplying energy for sperm motion and mobility; one of the crucial factors in fertility. The research team has shown that cellular damage on a molecular level in mitochondria can be present although changes in form and morphology are not visible. This stresses that besides morphology, which is a strict criterion by the WHO Manual for Andrology Laboratories to classify human sperm fertility, it is now possible and necessary to improve the test criteria by incorporating chemical signatures.

The RUB researchers obtained detailed 3D chemical maps which do not require the introduction of additional labels or markers. The Raman micro-spectroscopy used in this study detects sub-cellular components using the spectral fingerprints of molecules based on their characteristic vibrations. Different organelles within human sperm are visualized by their chemically unique Raman spectra. In addition to optical and morphological images, it is now possible to directly image the chemical constituents of individual human sperm cells.

This discovery may contribute to the development of new standards for the classification of healthy fertile and damaged infertile human sperm cells. Since the sperm count of human males around the world has dropped an alarming 50 per cent of what it was more than 50 years ago, there is an urgency to investigate human fertility organelles. The importance of this work was noted by the Royal Society of Chemistry and featured as a Highlight of "Chemical Biology" and as News in „Chemistry World".

The development of innovative spectroscopic and microscopic methods for high resolution imaging of living cells is one of the research areas at the Chair of Physical Chemistry II (Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen). The work of Konrad Meister, Diedrich A. Schmidt and Erik Bründermann uses confocal Raman microscopy for detailed 3D imaging and identification of organelles of human sperm cells to reveal the origin of infertility on the molecular level. The funding for the Raman microscope used in this study was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF 05KS7PC2).

Title

K. Meister , D. A. Schmidt , E. Bründermann, M. Havenith: Confocal Raman microspectroscopy as an analytical tool to assess the mitochondrial status in human spermatozoa, Analyst (2010). DOI: 10.1039/b927012d

Further information

Dr. Erik Bründermann, Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith
Lehrstuhl für Physikalische Chemie II der Ruhr-Universität, 44780 Bochum, Tel. 0234/32-24249, erik.bruendermann@rub.de, martina.havenith@rub.de
LINKS
Chair of physical chemistry II (Havenith-Newen): http://www.rub.de/pc2
Link to publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/b927012d
Link to Chemistry World News: http://www.rsc.org/ChemistryWorld/
Link to Highlights in Chemical Biology:
http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/cb/Volume/2010/06/picturing
_infertility.asp

Dr. Josef König | idw
Further information:
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>