3D Microscopy Reveals How Human Sperm Swim

September 8, 2020 11:22:36

For more than thirty decades, researchers have had the knowledge that sperms have been swimming by moving their tails side by side. It has been so because they have been using the 2D microscopes in making that observation. However, the real movement of the sperms has been discovered by the scientist using the 3D microscopy.

How Human Sperms Move

Sperms spin with a wobbly amorphic twist. It is the opposite of what had been known before about the movement of the sperms. Scientists used a very high-speed camera that can record more than 56,000 frames in a second to determine the sperms’ direction. Additionally, they also used a microscope assembled with a piezoelectric device capable of moving the sperm samples up and down.

The camera is fixed at the central point as the piezoelectric device rotates in a vertical direction at a speed of 3650 m/s, which is faster than the human sperm movement. At such high supersonic speed, the sperm’s tail does not move; hence, it allows the system to collect the picture stack at every moment in 3D. The researchers also used mathematical knowledge in explaining their findings.

Their observation found out that the sperm tail is unstable, and it only swings towards one side. It was also noted that preventing the sperms from swimming in circular motions is because they roll as they swim; only allowing the forward movement. Scientifically it can be said that the sperms make symmetrical movements out of asymmetric movement.

The Shortcomings of 2D Sperm Analysis

Using the 2D semen analysis system, the researchers had gotten it wrong on how the sperms move. The use of 2D in analyzing the movement of sperms had shown that the tail of the sperm was seen swinging back and forth like the fish called eels in water. Initially, it was also seen that the head depended on the flagellum for its oscillation. However, after using the 3D, it was noted that both the head and the flagellum are rotating independently.

Emergence and Usage of 3D Microscopy

3D microscopy has been in existence for the last ten years. Perfecting it has also taken some time, especially when cooperating with the piezoelectric device and the mathematics involved in it. In a real sense, sperms have been moving faster; the problem was coming up with a 3D machine that could proceed at a supersonic speed that could effectively monitor their movement.

Having this novel knowledge on how the sperms move will help biological research and fertility studies. The knowledge will also be useful in robotics, artificial intelligence and other health engineering projects. As several innovations are still coming up, it may be found that the 3D analysis of sperm movement is wrong. This is because science keeps on changing and any researcher who wants to be at the forefront must always cope with all scientific changes.

It would be enlightening to hear what companies like Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) say about the significance of overhauling what has always been thought of as the mechanism through which human sperm moves.

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