High-frequency ultrasound boosts bull and human sperm motility

Junyang Gai, Esma Dervisevic, Citsabehsan Devendran, Victor J. Cadarso, Moira K. O'Bryan, Reza Nosrati, Adrian Neild

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Sperm motility is a significant predictor of male fertility potential and is directly linked to fertilization success in both natural and some forms of assisted reproduction. Sperm motility can be impaired by both genetic and environmental factors, with asthenozoospermia being a common clinical presentation. Moreover, in the setting of assisted reproductive technology clinics, there is a distinct absence of effective and noninvasive technology to increase sperm motility without detriment to the sperm cells. Here, a new method is presented to boost sperm motility by increasing the intracellular rate of metabolic activity using high frequency ultrasound. An increase of 34% in curvilinear velocity (VCL), 10% in linearity, and 32% in the number of motile sperm cells is shown by rendering immotile sperm motile, after just 20 s exposure. A similar effect with an increase of 15% in VCL treating human sperm with the same setting is also identified. This cell level mechanotherapy approach causes no significant change in cell viability or DNA fragmentation index, and, as such, has the potential to be applied to encourage natural fertilization or less invasive treatment choices such as in vitro fertilization rather than intracytoplasmic injection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2104362
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2022


  • acoustofluidics
  • infertility
  • male infertility
  • microfluidics
  • sperm
  • surface acoustic wave

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