Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 154367, 7 pages
Research Article

Rotational Dynamics of Optically Trapped Human Spermatozoa

1School of Medical Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, West Bengal 721 302, India
2Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai 400 005, India
3Department of Biochemistry, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai 400 012, India

Received 20 August 2013; Accepted 21 November 2013; Published 29 January 2014

Academic Editors: R. L. Davis and O. W. Hakenberg

Copyright © 2014 Elavarasan Subramani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Optical trapping is a laser-based method for probing the physiological and mechanical properties of cells in a noninvasive manner. As sperm motility is an important criterion for assessing the male fertility potential, this technique is used to study sperm cell motility behavior and rotational dynamics. Methods and Patients. An integrated optical system with near-infrared laser beam has been used to analyze rotational dynamics of live sperm cells from oligozoospermic and asthenozoospermic cases and compared with controls. Results. The linear, translational motion of the sperm is converted into rotational motion on being optically trapped, without causing any adverse effect on spermatozoa. The rotational speed of sperm cells from infertile men is observed to be significantly less as compared to controls. Conclusions. Distinguishing normal and abnormal sperm cells on the basis of beat frequency above 5.6 Hz may be an important step in modern reproductive biology to sort and select good quality spermatozoa. The application of laser-assisted technique in biology has the potential to be a valuable tool for assessment of sperm fertilization capacity for improving assisted reproductive technology.