Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Sperm shaker set to improve IVF success rates

19.01.2009
Scientists have developed a ground-breaking method for testing the quality of a sperm before it is used in IVF and increase the chances of conception.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), have created a way of chemically ‘fingerprinting’ individual sperm to give an indication of quality.

Scientists can then consider whether the sperm is healthy enough to be used to fertilise an egg as part of an IVF treatment.

The sperm are captured in two highly focussed beams of laser light. Trapped in what are essentially ‘optical tweezers’, an individual sperm’s DNA properties are identified by the pattern of the vibrations they emit in a process known as Raman spectroscopy. This is the first time this process has been used to evaluate DNA damage in sperm.

Dr Alistair Elfick, lead scientist on the project, said: “In natural conception the fittest and healthiest sperm are positively selected by the arduous journey they make to the egg. What our technology does is to replace natural selection with a DNA based ‘quality score’. But this is not about designer babies. We can only tell if the sperm is strong and healthy not if it will produce a baby with blue eyes.”

In the past quality tests of sperm have mostly been carried out on the basis of shape and activity. While these do give some indication of health of the sperm they do not give its DNA status.

There are established tests for sperm DNA quality but they work by cutting the cells in half and tagging them with fluorescent dye – a process that kills the sperm and renders it useless. This new process does not destroy the sperm,

so if it is found to have good DNA quality, it can still be used in IVF treatment.

Conception rates in both IVF treatment and intercourse are at around one in four. By selecting the best quality sperm it is hoped this new process could both increase a couple’s chances of conception and give the child the best potential start in life.

The research is currently in a pre-clinical phase, and if successful could be available to patients in the next five to ten years.

Lawrie Jones | alfa
Further information:
http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>