Scientists have developed a simple cell-based system to rapidly test, with a high degree of reliability, the quality of sperm, offering a cheap fertility home test.
The test consists of an optical device attached to a cell and an electronic chip on which a sample of sperm can be placed.
Current clinical tests to measure sperm quality require expensive laboratory equipment.
Moreover, they take a long time to produce the results, explain the inventors of this platform called Fertilex, which requires only 4.45 dollars of material.
This invention is the subject of a publication Wednesday in the American medical journal Science Translational Medicine.
For this test, it is sufficient to carry out six very simple operations which make it possible to measure the concentration of the sperm, its mobility and the total number of spermatozoa.
It is so simple that ten volunteers without any preparation or training have been able to obtain exact results on more than one hundred samples of semen, specify the creators.
To test the efficacy of Fertilex, they had analyzed 350 samples, obtaining a 95% confidence level in the results.
These researchers also designed a cellular application to guide users for each step of the test.
They also miniaturized a scale that connects wirelessly to cell phones to measure sperm concentration.
FACILITATE THE MALE INFERTILITY TEST
“Our goal was to find a solution to facilitate the male infertility test by making it as simple and cheap as possible, such as the pregnancy test,” said Hadi Shafiee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, one of the authors of This invention.
“This test is very inexpensive, accurate to almost 100% and can analyze a video of an unpurified sample of semen in less than five seconds,” he said.
It is estimated that more than 45 million couples in the world are affected by infertility and men are responsible for about 40% of the cases.
“Currently, men have to provide sperm in a hospital, which is often a stressful and embarrassing situation,” the scientist continued.
In addition, he said, “the current clinical tests to assess sperm are laboratory-based, time-consuming and subjective.”