Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-xm8r8 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-16T08:21:10.606Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Sperm Performance Better on Diamond than on Polystyrene

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 February 2013

Andrei P. Sommer*
Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 47, 89081 Ulm, Germany.
Dan Zhu
Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 47, 89081 Ulm, Germany. IVF-Center Ulm, Einsteinstraße 59, 89077 Ulm, Germany.
Friedrich Gagsteiger
IVF-Center Ulm, Einsteinstraße 59, 89077 Ulm, Germany.
Hans-Jörg Fecht
Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 47, 89081 Ulm, Germany.
Get access


Recently we postulated that polystyrene Petri dishes become soft when in contact with an aqueous milieu. Specifically, we assumed that the effect is restricted to a superficial nanolayer, a condition presumably favoring the establishment of a stable nanolayer of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the liquid/solid-interface. Cells are known to be hypersensitive to ROS. Previously we used P19 mouse embryonal carcinoma cells and systematically analyzed their capability to climb different substrates placed vertically into a Petri dish. The worst and best performance was found on polystyrene (Petri dish material) and nanocrystalline diamond, respectively. Polystyrene Petri dishes are today standard in laboratories conducting in vitro fertilization (IVF). Here we proceed and extend the investigation to human spermatozoa and show that their performance (vitality) on polystyrene Petri dishes is low compared to that on diamond Petri dishes. This work may propel further research and inspire the development of a new generation of cell-friendly Petri dishes.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Sommer, AP, Zhu, D, Brühne, K. Surface conductivity on hydrogen-terminated nanocrystalline diamond: Implication of ordered water layers. Cryst. Growth Des. 7, 22982301, 2007.10.1021/cg070610bCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sommer, AP, Zhu, D, Fecht, HJ. Genesis on diamonds. Cryst. Growth Des. 8, 26282629, 2008.10.1021/cg8005037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sommer, AP, Zhu, D, Wiora, M, Fecht, HJ. The top of the biomimetic triangle. J. Bionic Eng. 5, 9194, 2008.10.1016/S1672-6529(08)60011-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sommer, AP, Zhu, D, Franke, RP, Fecht, HJ. Biomimetics: Learning from diamonds. J. Mater. Res. 23, 31483152, 2008.10.1557/JMR.2008.0382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sommer, AP, Zhu, D, Scharnweber, T, Fecht, HJ. On the social behaviour of cells. J. Bionic Eng. 7, 15, 2010.10.1016/S1672-6529(09)60186-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cohen, J. Fertility Magazine 6, 1224.Google Scholar
WHO laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen. Fifth edition, WHO Press, Geneva, Switzerland, 2010.Google Scholar
Sommer, AP, Zhu, D, Scharnweber, T, Fecht, HJ. Body building on diamonds. J. Bionic Eng. 6, 1417, 2009.10.1016/S1672-6529(08)60097-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wobus, AM, Kleppisch, T, Maltsev, V, Hescheler, J. Cardiomyocyte-like cells differentiated in vitro from embryonic carcinoma cells P19 are characterized by functional expression of adrenoceptors and Ca2+ channels. In Vitro Cell Dev. Biol. Anim. 30A, 425434, 1994.Google Scholar
Chen, QZ, Harding, SE, Ali, NN, Lyon, AR, Boccaccini, AR. Biomaterials in cardiac tissue engineering: Ten years of research survey. Mat. Sci. Eng. R 59, 137, 2008.10.1016/j.mser.2007.08.001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abercrombie, M, Heaysman, JE. Invasiveness of sarcoma cells. Nature 174, 697698, 1954.10.1038/174697a0CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Abercrombie, M, Heaysman, JE, Karthauser, HM. Social behaviour of cells in tissue culture. III. Mutual influence of sarcoma cells and fibroblasts. Exp. Cell Res. 13, 276291, 1957.10.1016/0014-4827(57)90007-1CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ben-Jacob, E, Coffey, DS, Levine, H. Bacterial survival strategies suggest rethinking cancer cooperativity. Trends Microbiol. 20, 403410, 2012.10.1016/j.tim.2012.06.001CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wagner, W, Saffrich, R, Wirkner, U, Eckstein, V, Blake, J, Ansorge, A, Schwager, C, Wein, F, Miesala, K, Ansorge, W, Ho, AD. Hematopoietic progenitor cells and cellular microenvironment: behavioral and molecular changes upon interaction. Stem Cells 23, 11801191, 2005.10.1634/stemcells.2004-0361CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sommer, AP, Haddad, MK, Fecht, HJ. It is time for a change: Petri dishes weaken cells. J. Bionic Eng. 9, 353357, 2012.10.1016/S1672-6529(11)60125-XCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dumé, B. Nanodiamond coating for a better Petri dish. Oct 15, 2012.Google Scholar
Krauss, S, Zhang, CY, Lowell, BB. The mitochondrial uncoupling-protein homologues. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 6, 248261, 2005.10.1038/nrm1592CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Discher, DE, Mooney, DJ, Zandstra, PW. Growth factors, matrices, and forces combine and control stem cells. Science 324, 16731677, 2009.10.1126/science.1171643CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed