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A new study recommends using Petri dishes covered in diamonds in IVF treatments
Rough diamonds
Credit: Alex Daniel

A new study conducted by scientists from the Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials at University of Ulm in Germany, and the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Department at Yale University has some good, though slightly bizarre, news for couples undergoing in-vitro-fertilization (IVF) treatments: use Petri dishes covered in diamonds.


In the current study, the scientists say, even “1 hour contact with the nano-diamond Petri dishes enhanced the number of Grade A motility human sperm cells (sperm cells that are swimming in a rapid progressive motility) by ~300%”.


The study, which will be published in the Annals of Translational Medicine in its July 2017 issue, notes that Grade A sperm refers to those that move rapidly and are relatively likely to fertilize an egg.


According to, “Diamond-coated Petri dishes cost about $100, which is a small price to pay when folded into the entirety of an IVF procedure, which usually totals at $10,000”.


This isn’t the first study to link diamonds to better chances at IVF treatments. In 2013, scientists reported that the vitality of human sperm cells increased by 20% after 42 hours contact with nano-crystalline diamond coated Petri dishes, as compared to polystyrene Petri dishes. The study suggested that the surface of the standard polystyrene Petri dish used in IVF treatments damages the sperm cells eventually, “slowing” them down. Petri dishes coated in a nano-layer of diamonds, however, give them the “boost” they need to swim to their destination, and thus increase the likelihood of a successful IVF treatment. The current study, as mentioned, has much more encouraging results, showing that nano-diamond Petri dishes enhanced the number of Grade A motility human sperm cells by 300%.

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