Article Abstract

Diamonds are for men, too

Authors: Andrei P. Sommer

Abstract

The results of a simple in vitro experiment presented 2016 in an editorial (1) were commented in Science (2) and later in three editorials (3-5). What makes those results to be interesting? Is it the finding that the progressive motility of human spermatozoa increased by 300% after one hour contact with diamond Petri dishes, when compared to standard polystyrene Petri dishes? Is it the additionally reported beneficial effect of near infrared (NIR) light on the performance of the spermatozoa? Undoubtedly, the findings (1) suffice to revolutionize in vitro fertilization (IVF) routines, one day: (I) by safeguarding a critical microenvironment—the interfacial zone between cell and Petri dish—which on diamond is virtually free of a reactive oxygen species (ROS) and in which spermatozoa have a higher probability to fertilize oocytes and (II) by using NIR light to fill up mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) reservoirs. However, the results presented in (1) are in no way restricted to IVF. Probably, their validity can be extended to in vitro tests in general and thus practically exploited in life sciences and medicine.

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