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Even when faint, ovary scent draws sperm cells

s case a buffer solution. The researchers affixed a microscope and camera to the device and then recorded video of the sperm during assays.

"We combined in a microfluidic device the ability to generate a chemical gradient with transporting sperm cells to evaluate sperm chemotaxis," Jacobson said. "The use of microfluidic devices appears to be an ideal approach for precisely controlling the chemical gradient and accurately tracking chemotactic events. This combination led to greater repeatability in the experimental conditions over the course of the assays, which is currently not possible with conventional assays. These results are an important first step toward having an easy-to-use platform to rapidly evaluate and quantify chemotaxis."

The researchers hope their device will help other scientists more accurately examine the chemotaxis of all types of cells. The method also eliminates the phenomenon of "trapping," which causes study results to become ambiguous.

"The ability to differentiate chemotaxis from trapping helps to determine whether sperm were attracted to the test substance or the swim velocity was reduced close to the test substance," Jacobson said. "In the latter case, the test substance may have had a negative influence on the sperm, resulting in suppression of their movement."

Novotny is the Lilly Chemistry Alumni Chair in the Indiana University Bloomington Department of Chemistry, where he also directs the Institute for Pheromone Research.


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Source:Indiana University


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