Smartphone Device Analyzes Semen to Assess Male Fertility

Assay can analyze sample with less than 5 seconds processing time, and provide accurate evaluation


THURSDAY, March 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An automated smartphone-based semen analyzer can provide a semen quality evaluation with about 98 percent accuracy, according to research published in the March 22 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Manoj Kumar Kanakasabapathy, from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues report on the development and clinical testing of an automated smartphone-based semen analyzer, which was designed for quantitative measurement of sperm concentration and motility. The assay was designed for point-of-care male infertility screening.

Based on 350 clinical semen specimens at a fertility clinic, the researchers found that the assay can analyze an unwashed unprocessed liquefied semen sample with less than 5 seconds mean processing time. The assay can provide a semen quality evaluation with about 98 percent accuracy based on the World Health Organization guidelines.

"The work suggests that the integration of microfluidics, optical sensing accessories, and advances in consumer electronics, particularly smartphone capabilities, can make remote semen quality testing accessible to people in both developed and developing countries who have access to smartphones," the authors write.

One author is listed an inventor on a patent application submitted by Brigham and Women's Hospital that covers home evaluation of the quality of semen samples.

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