Innovation That Matters

“Lab on a chip” can accurately measure male fertility

Sport & Fitness

Fertility chip can accurately measure sperm motility as well as concentration.

It was a couple of years ago that we featured DuoFertility, a device that can accurately detect fertility levels in women. Now in the Netherlands, a researcher at the MESA+ Institute of Nanotechnology has created a “fertility chip” for men, that measures the concentration and motility of sperm. The fertility chip, which claims to accurately determine sperm count as well as levels of sperm movement, was developed by Loes Segerink with the BIOS Lab-on-a-Chip research group and Twente Medical Spectrum. While there are already home tests available on the market, they only indicate whether sperm concentration is above or below average, instead of giving an accurate reading. The chip is designed for simple, one-off use, and measures sperm concentration as it flows past electrode bridges in a small liquid-filled channel. The equipment is sensitive enough to distinguish white blood cells — another indicator of sperm quality — as well as count the number of motile and non-motile sperm. Segerink has received a grant that will enable her to refine the chip into a market-ready home test kit. The fertility industry is a lucrative one, and for testing devices such as this, reliability and accuracy are major selling points. One for medical retailers to take note of? Spotted by: Patrick Bliek



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