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Artificial Testicle For Infertile Males

Artificial Testicle For Infertile Males

An artificial testicle could allow infertile males to conceive children…

A new artificial testicle concept could provide a way for infertile men to produce sperm.

Previous studies have shown that it’s possible to treat infertile male mice by using stem cells but such work has not yet been conducted on humans, notes researcher Dr. Paul Turek, director of the Turek Clinic, a men’s health medical practice in San Francisco.

Turek and his team received a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to develop the sperm-making biological machine. But unlike all other non-sperm-producing prosthesis new artificial testicle will not be designed to resemble a testicle. Instead it will most likely be a cylindrical bag a few inches in length.

artifical testicle infertile male

Artificial Testicle Could Help Infertile Male Conceive Children

Growing sperm in the lab has so far, been impossible. Naturally produced sperm goes through 12 stages of development, but lab grown attempts have always failed at stage 9 or 10. Turek hopes to overcome this hurdle by using embryonic or adult stem cells fortified with genes to help them develop the properties of precursor sperm cells.

The artificial testicle would only last as long as one cycle of sperm production, around 70 days, before it would need to be replaced. However should such a technology prove successful, it could offer infertile males a way to reproduce.

Turek hopes to have completed the artificial testicle within 3-5 years.

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  1. Rachael Rettner: Artificial testicle could treat male infertility. MSNBC, 01/18/2012.

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