18 August 2005 Monitoring sperm mitochondrial respiration response in a laser trap using ratiometric fluorescence
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Sperm motility is an important area in understanding male infertility. Various techniques, such as the Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA), have been used to understand sperm motility. Sperm motility is related to the energy (ATP) production of sperm. ATP is produced by the depolarization of the membrane potential of the inner membrane of the mitochondria. In this study, a mitochondrial dye, JC-1, has been used to monitor the energetics of the mitochondria. This fluorescent dye can emit at two different wavelengths, depending on the membrane potential of the mitochondria. It can fluoresce green at low membrane potential and red at high membrane potential. The ratio of the two colors (red/green) allows for an accurate measurement of the change of membrane potential. Various experiments were conducted to quantify the behavior of the dye within the sperm and the reaction of the sperm to trap. Sperm were trapped using laser tweezers. Results have shown that the ratio drops dramatically when sperm are trapped, indicating a depolarization of the membrane. The physiological response to this depolarization is yet to be determined, but the studies indicate that the sperm could have been slightly damaged by the laser. However, knowing that sperm depolarizes their membrane when trapped can help understand how sperm react to their environment and consequently help treat male infertility.
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Adrian Mei, Adrian Mei, Elliot Botvinick, Elliot Botvinick, Michael Berns, Michael Berns, "Monitoring sperm mitochondrial respiration response in a laser trap using ratiometric fluorescence", Proc. SPIE 5930, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation II, 59302F (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.618126; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.618126

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