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Smartphone-based Semen analyser can help men test Infertility in privacy and within the comfort of their home

In tests, the researchers found that the easy-to-use smartphone app and accessory analyses sperm concentration and motility with approximately 98 percent accuracy

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Smartphones
A Smartphone (representational Image), Pixabay

New York,  March 23, 2017: Researchers have developed a smartphone-based semen analyser that can help men test infertility in the privacy and comfort of their home, suggests new research.

In tests, the researchers found that the easy-to-use smartphone app and accessory analyses sperm concentration and motility with approximately 98 percent accuracy.

The research, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, could offer men a potent weapon to fight infertility as a prevailing cultural and social stigma, and get round the lack of access to seeking an evaluation in resource-limited countries.

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“We wanted to come up with a solution to make male infertility testing as simple and affordable as home pregnancy tests,” said Hadi Shafiee from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, US.

“Men have to provide semen samples in these rooms at a hospital, a situation in which they often experience stress, embarrassment, pessimism and disappointment,” Shafiee pointed out.

More than 45 million couples worldwide grapple with infertility, but current standard methods for diagnosing male infertility can be expensive, labour-intensive and require testing in a clinical setting.

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“Current clinical tests are lab-based, time-consuming and subjective. This test is low-cost, quantitative, highly accurate and can analyse a video of an undiluted, unwashed semen sample in less than five seconds,” Shafiee added.

The analyser consists of an optical attachment that can connect to a smartphone and a disposable device onto which a semen sample can be loaded.

The new test utilises the advancements in consumer electronics and microfabrication.

A disposable microchip with a capillary tip and a rubber bulb is used for simple, power-free semen sample handling.

The team also designed a user-friendly smartphone application that guides the user through each step of testing, and a miniaturised weight scale that wirelessly connects to smartphones to measure total sperm count.

To evaluate the device, the research team collected and studied 350 clinical semen specimens at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Centre in Boston.

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Overall, the smartphone-based device was able to detect abnormal semen samples based on World Health Organisation (WHO) thresholds on sperm concentration and motility with an accuracy of 98 per cent.

“The ability to bring point-of-care sperm testing to the consumer, or health facilities with limited resources, is a true game changer,” co-author of the study John Petrozza, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Centre, said.

The smartphone-based analyser for semen analysis is currently in a prototyping stage. The researchers said that plan to perform additional tests and will file for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. (IANS)

Next Story

Household Contaminants May Cause Infertility in Men, Dogs

The researchers carried out identical experiments for both species using samples of sperm from donor men and stud dogs, living in the same region

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The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. pixabay

Environmental contaminants found in home and diet have the same adverse effects on male fertility both in humans and domestic dogs, finds a new study highlighting the decline in sperm quality in both the species over the past few years.

The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed the chemicals — at concentrations relevant to environmental exposure — have the same damaging effect on sperm of both man and dog.

“We know when human sperm motility is poor, DNA fragmentation is increased and that human male infertility is linked to increased levels of DNA damage in sperm,” said co-author Rebecca Sumner, postdoctoral student at the University of Nottingham, Britain.

“We now believe this is the same in pet dogs because they live in the same domestic environment and are exposed to the same household contaminants,” Sumner said.

Family walk with dog. Pixabay

For the study, the team tested the effects of two man-made chemicals — the common plasticiser DEHP, widely used in the home (e.g. carpets, clothes, toys) and the industrial chemical polychlorinated biphenyl 153, which although banned globally, remains widely detectable in the environment, including food.

The researchers carried out identical experiments for both species using samples of sperm from donor men and stud dogs, living in the same region.

Also Read- Now The Delhi Government Comes Up With The Food Wastage Check Policy At Social Gatherings

“This new study supports our theory that the domestic dog is indeed a ‘sentinel’ or mirror for human male reproductive decline. Our findings suggest man-made chemicals, widely used in home and working environment, may be responsible for the decline in sperm quality,” lead author Richard Lea from the varsity noted. (IANS)