New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology used commercially available therapeutic ultrasound equipment to reduce sperm counts of male rats to levels which would result in infertility in humans.
Ultrasound's potential as a male contraceptive was first reported nearly 40 years ago. However the equipment used is now outdated and no longer available. Researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine used these experiments as a starting point to see if modern ultrasound equipment usually used for physical therapy could be used as a male contraceptive.
The team led by James Tsuruta found that by rotating high frequency (3MHz) ultrasound around the testes they were able to cause uniform depletion of germ cells throughout the testes. The best results were seen using two sessions consisting of 15 minutes ultrasound, two days apart. Saline was used to provide conduction between the ultrasound transducer and skin, and the testes were warmed to 37 degrees centigrade. Together this reduced sperm to a Sperm Count Index of zero (3 million motile sperm per cauda epididymis).
The World Health Organization has defined oligospermia (low sperm concentration) as less than 15 million sperm per ml. Dr Tsuruta explained, "Unlike humans, rats remain fertile even with extremely low sperm counts. However, our non-invasive ultrasound treatment reduced sperm reserves in rats far below levels normally seen in fertile men (95% of fertile men have more than 39 million sperm in their ejaculate). However further studies are required to determine how long the contraceptive effect lasts and if it is safe to use multiple times."
Notes to Editors1. Therapeutic ultrasound as a potential male contraceptive: power, frequency and temperature required to deplete rat testes of meiotic cells and epididymides of sperm determined using a commercially available system
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology (in press)
Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.
Article citation and URL available on request at firstname.lastname@example.org on the day of publication.
2. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology (RB&E) is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that aims to act as a forum for the dissemination of results from excellent research in the reproductive sciences.
3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.
Dr. Hilary Glover | EurekAlert!
Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University
Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy