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Medical News & Perspectives
January 23, 2008

Sperm Motility Inspires Ideas for Powering Nanodevices

JAMA. 2008;299(3):275. doi:10.1001/jama.299.3.275

Sperm motility may help move more than male gametes in the future. Reproductive biologists have found that the molecular pathway that enables sperm to swim might also be used to power nanoscale medical devices. The energy could potentially be harnessed to carry out tasks such as releasing drugs and performing mechanical functions inside the body.

“Our work is . . . an attempt to create a power source that others can use to drive different nanorobots or nanoscale devices,” said Alex Travis, VMD, PhD, assistant professor of veterinary medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Travis presented his work at the recent American Society for Cell Biology's 47th Annual meeting, held in Washington, DC.