Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Sperm Shaker Set To Improve IVF Success Rates

Date:
January 22, 2009
Source:
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Summary:
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.

Dr Alistair Elfick shows Raman Spectroscopy in action.
Credit: Image courtesy of EPSRC

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 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.

This research was funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). "New Sperm Shaker Set To Improve IVF Success Rates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090119081344.htm>.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). (2009, January 22). New Sperm Shaker Set To Improve IVF Success Rates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090119081344.htm
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). "New Sperm Shaker Set To Improve IVF Success Rates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090119081344.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins