Coming soon: fertility chip measures sperm

Researchers in the Netherlands have created a fertility chip to measure sperm concentration for parents wishing to conceive.

For men, fertility can be an awkward subject. But now thanks to researchers in the Netherlands, a lab-on-a-chip claims to measure sperm concentration and precisely measure sperm motility.

Researcher Loes Segerink from the University of Twente takes credit for the chip, and her work was part of a collaboration between the BIOS Lab-on-a-Chip research group and an assortment of companies. The release states the project was funded by the STW Technology Foundation in The Netherlands.

How does the chip function? According to the release:

"On the chip sperm flow through a liquid-filled channel beneath electrode "bridges." When a cell passes beneath one of these electrodes, there is a brief fluctuation in the electrical resistance. These events are counted. To test the reliability of her concentration measurements, Segerink added microspheres to the liquid. Segerink found that the method was selective enough to distinguish sperm from microspheres (little balls). The system was also able to reliably distinguish white blood cells from other bodies."

The release states that a take-home test kit may be available in the future for parents wishing to conceive.

To learn more about Loes Segerink and the lab-on-a-chip, visit the University of Twente website here.

Image: via University of Twente

via CNET

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