An Israeli lab has been able to grow proto-sperm from stem cells in mice, which some are hailing as a massive fertility breakthrough. While this is an early finding, scientists hope that this technology could one day help human patients treat fertility problems.
The male mice had no sperm, but the scientists were able to help them produce offspring
First, they grew small artificial testicles in microchips. They were then able to use them to produce spermatids, which were then able to fertilise mouse eggs.
The study, which has been peer-reviewed, uses microchips to automatically maintain the cells’ ideal environments. They started by removing sperm cells from the mouse’s testicles, and they were able to grow them in the artificial testicles. The artificial testicles produced round spermatids. Sometimes called proto-sperm, these are cell formations that grow into sperm. They have been used to create animal and human babies in successful trials.
Next, the team plans to ship some of these spermatids to an American lab. The experts there will help them design the next phase of research, and will attempt to use the round spermatids to fertilise eggs.
Stem cells could help with male infertility in the future
According to Professor Mahmoud Huleihel from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, who led the team, “this research represents a breakthrough that could provide a way for infertile men who don’t produce sperm to have children. It can also provide a way for young cancer patients, who don’t yet produce sperm, to preserve cells before chemotherapy that they could be able to use later in life to have children.
“Adult cancer patients can freeze sperm in case chemotherapy harms fertility, but if children don’t yet produce sperm, there has been no solution for them until now.”
This could be a huge advancement for people dealing with male infertility and could help men and trans women without sperm to have their own children.
Professor Huleihel continued, “we already know from existing research that round spermatids can be used to fertilise eggs, and we’re working right now on the next part of our experiment that will do exactly this — use the spermatids to fertilise mice eggs. We hope to achieve this within a year or two.”
Next, the team will move on to human trials
“We are also preparing to apply this experiment to cells from humans. If this works, it could enable us to grow cells from humans, which means we wouldn’t necessarily be reliant on sperm to produce babies. There could be significant benefits to interfile men who don’t produce sperm, and to children with cancer who may want eventually to have kids of their own.”
We are excited about this advancement, and we will be following this story closely and posting updates.
What do you think of this research? Could it help you or someone you love to conceive in the future? Share your thoughts with us at email@example.com or on social @ivfbabble
The post Israeli scientists grow proto-sperm from stem cells appeared first on IVF Babble.
IVF BabbleRead More