A new smart phone application, semen analyser, has been developed by the researchers, that can help evaluate a man's semen and determine his level of fertility.
According to study, the easy-to-use smart phone application and accessory, analyses sperm concentration and motility with approximately 98% accuracy.
The new technology consists of an external accessory, in which sperm samples are inserted and an application that analyzes them.
The analyzer consists of an optical attachment that can connect to a smart phone and a disposable device onto which a semen sample can be loaded. This new test utilizes the advancements in consumer electronics and micro fabrication.
The accessory case in turn contains lenses and an LED to illuminate and magnify the sample for capture by the camera of the phone. The lenses, then, align with the phone's camera.
The application records a short video of the sperm as they move around inside the chip and uses an algorithm to measure the total number of sperm, to track their movement and then calculates the total number of sperms that are moving.
Scientists have even designed a disposable microchip with a capillary tip and a rubber bulb, used for simple, power-free semen sample handling.
Roughly five seconds later, an analysis is produced, indicating whether or not the sample meets the World Health Organization standards, in terms of healthy sperm concentrations and sperm movement.
The only factor that is not observed is the morphology, or shape, of the sperms, which is considered during official tests at a clinic, according to research officials.
According to a study, more than 45 million couples were estimated to be infertile, and current standard methods for diagnosing male infertility can be expensive, labor-intensive and require testing in a clinical setting.
The team behind the new technology, hopes this new form of testing will make infertility testing both easier and cheaper for men, avoiding the need for them to go to a clinic, and can analyze a video of an undiluted, unwashed semen sample in less than five seconds.
Assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Hadi Shafiee, said, “We developed the technology, and we have a prototype that seems to work very well, and with high reliability and accuracy.”
Usually men have to have to provide semen samples in the hospital rooms, a situation in which they often experience stress, embarrassment, pessimism and disappointment,” added Shafiee.
The application could make testing as straightforward as a home pregnancy test, Shafiee said.