A Tiny Robot That Escorts Slow Sperm to an Egg

It could be an alternative to costly and complex in vitro fertilization.

Low sperm motility, or otherwise healthy sperm that just can’t swim, can be a big factor in infertility. Developed by a team at the IFW in Germany, who published their findings in the journal Nano Letters, a new “spermbot” is a tiny metal helix that wraps around the tail of a sperm and helps propel it using a rotating magnetic field. The sperm is then delivered to an egg, hopefully leading to fertilization.

Once the sperm is securely lodged in the wall of an egg, the spermbot would reverse direction and releases its passenger.