New device from FAU researchers aims to treat sperm imperfections

Problems with infertile sperm could be resolved thanks to an FAU researcher.


Photo courtesy of Florida Atlantic University.

Ryan Lynch, Multimedia Editor


ouples struggling with infertility in their relationship may have a new method to solve the problem thanks to a Florida Atlantic researcher.

Waseem Asghar, an assistant professor in the College of Computer Science and Engineering, created a device that separates healthy sperm cells from those with DNA imperfections.

Asghar’s creation serves as an alternative to the usual method of sperm separation in which the cells are spun around, called centrifusion. With the researcher’s device, the sample of semen would instead be run through a porous membrane that would separate the live cells from dead and impotent cells.

“Sperm sorting methodologies based on microfluidic procedures are a valuable option since these techniques eliminate the damaging centrifugation steps,” Asghar said in a news release.

According to the release, centrifusion can increase chemical levels that cause damage to DNA. The technique is also inefficient at separating old sperm from new and from eliminating dead cells from selection.

Asghar co-authored a study with Kari L. Rappa, an FAU graduate research student from his lab, titled, “Sperm Processing for Advanced Reproductive Technologies: Where are We Today?” The study was published in the research journal Biotechnology Advances.

Ryan Lynch is the multimedia editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.