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.
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