Apr 16, 2017 02:24 AM EDT
Sperm was identified as a natural drug carrier during chemotherapy especially to tumors located in the female reproductive tract. A team of researchers in cooperation with the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Germany has tested this possibility.
According to Phys Org, the researchers have tested the possible approach by utilizing bull sperm on a tiny track on their lab. The first step is that they steered individual sperm cells to swim into a very tiny helmet coated with iron that would adhere to its head. The sperm would then follow a certain direction through an external magnet. The purpose of this step is to assure and guide the sperm so that it will swim and arrive in the desired location.
The helmet was designed with a "quick-release" mechanism enabling it to detach from the sperm when it will reach or have any contact with any surface such as the tumor cell. This will now allow the sperm cell to penetrate and travel alone into the cancerous cell. The researchers could simply soak the sperm into the anti-cancer drug and absorb it.
The researchers revealed that they were able to steer and guide the sperm cell to the desired and target location. They also added that the helmet made the sperm to swim 43 percent slower than normal. Despite the success of the experiment a lot of hurdles are to be overcome including unwanted pregnancy, difficulty in obtaining sperm, and the abandoned helmets.
Meanwhile, according to U.S. Department of Health And Human Service (HHS), the most common reproductive cancers in women are; uterine, cervical, ovarian, vaginal and vulvar. Reproductive cancers are often treated with surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation. The recent discovery in using sperm as a drug carrier is a surprising fact; male reproductive system saves the female reproductive system.
If the researchers can eliminate and manage the unwanted effects of using sperm as a drug carrier of antineoplastic drugs this could be a great advancement in oncology. This approach will now be added to the effective drug delivery and distribution systems in the pharmaceutical industry.
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