|A new device called Spartan could help men who are suffering from infertility / Photo by Katarzyna Bialasiewicz via 123RF|
One of the greatest fears most men have is infertility, with the very real chance that they might not be able to have children naturally in the future. Infertility can be credited to external events like physical trauma and disease, but sometimes, it can even be genetic. Dr. Carol Anania, of Fertility Solutions in Dedham, states, “Women tend to be ingrained, it will be our fault, it is our fault.” This is not really the case. Dr. Anania has found that in 40% of cases of infertility, the problem of conception can be linked back to the male with a running estimate that more than an eighth of all couples in the United States alone have trouble conceiving children. Recently, researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute created a device that could help men suffering from perceived infertility.
This device, called the Spartan, essentially isolates the best sperm of the male with less damage than traditional methods. Erkan Tuzel, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor, states, “It is basically an obstacle course to find the fastest and best sperm cell for use in in vitro fertilization applications.” He explains that he and his team created this device so that the cells themselves are not at risk of being destroyed or damaged, and so that he and his team could create a more passive solution to this issue at hand. He goes on to say, “The objective would be to come up with improved infertility solutions so that these processes take a shorter amount of time with better success rate.” This device is expected to help couples looking for alternative solutions for pregnancy.
Currently, the Spartan device just received approval from the Food and Drug administration, but it has yet to be fully tested for efficacy. According to Tuzel, a device similar to the Spartan is available in Europe, and is estimated to be the reason for 10,000 births.