Senior Design

SENIOR DESIGN PROJECT

FORCE SPECTROSCOPY IN LIVE SPERM CELLS

Infertility is a health issue that effects both men and women. Not all causes of infertility are understood, leaving infertile couples without means of treatment when the problem is unknown. There are many causes of infertility, and some are when the male’s sperm are not fertilizing the egg. One process that occurs in sperm is capacitation, and is required for fertilization. Capacitation occurs throughout the female tract, and is required for the sperm to penetrate an egg. This event prepares the sperm for fertilization by inducing hyperactivated motility in the sperm tail, and causing other changes related to the acrosome reaction that penetrates an eggs outer coat. The design team is interested in the effects of capacitation, particularly the hyperactivated swimming behavior, which is characterized by lateral head movements, and erratic tail beating in an unequal pattern.

Our team is using an instrument known as an optical tweezer to research capacitation. An optical tweezer is a high power, tightly focused laser-beam that can attract substances, to grab and trap entities on the microscopic scale. Our team is studying sperm using the laser to trap sperm and decrease the laser’s hold until they are able to escape. From the recorded power of the laser at the moment a sperm cell escapes, the swimming force of that cell can be determined. We are interested in comparing the swimming forces generated by sperm before and during capacitation.

With this project, sperm force found using an optical tweezer will reveal the characteristic behaviors of sperm in motion before and during capacitation. Investigating hyperactivated sperm behavior will uncover more information about reproduction and fertilization. Our project will expand on knowledge of capacitation, develop and use a method on the optical tweezer to measure data from sperm, and contribute to the discussion of male infertility.

THE TEAM

NICOLE BOTICKE

Nicole is a Biomedical and Chemical/Biological Engineer. As a member of the Chemical and Buffers team, she makes buffers for the sperm capacitation and non-capacitation experiments. These buffers ensure the sperm cells are kept at optimal conditions and allow the sperm cells to undergo the capacitation reaction. Nicole is also on the Mice and Sperm Cells team, she assists with euthanizing the mice and performing the surgical procedure to extract the tissue containing the mature sperm cells. Nicole is also on the Procedures team, she documents each stage of the project so the experiments can be repeated with no variation. The documentation of procedures will help the team ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

JEFF KOSTECKI

Jeff is a Biomedical and Chemical/Biological Engineer. As a member of the Chemicals and Buffers team, he makes buffers for the sperm capacitation and non-capacitation experiments. These buffers ensure the sperm cells are kept at optimal conditions and allow the sperm cells to undergo the capacitation reaction. Jeff is also on the Mice and Sperm Cells team, he assists with euthanizing the mice and performing the surgical procedure to extract the tissue containing the mature sperm cells. Jeff is also on the Procedures team, he documents each stage of the project so the experiments can be repeated with no variation. The documentation of procedures will help the team ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

QUINN OLSON

Quinn is a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer. As a member of the Mice and Sperm Cells team, he is in charge of euthanizing the mice, performing surgical procedures to obtain the tissue containing the mature sperm cells, and delivering the sperm cells to the optical tweezer setup. Quinn ensures the mice are euthanized ethically and that the surgical procedure is performed consistently so that each time the cells are extracted, they survive for the duration of the experiment. Quinn is also on the Communication team, he ensures the team accomplishes their goals of designing an automated tracking and trapping system. This design improves understanding of the sperm capacitation process and ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

TIM SEEK

Tim is a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer. As a member of the Software and Hardware team, he helps design a laser beam blocker, which automatically contains the optical laser beam with the push of a button using an anodized plate. Tim also designs a wave plate rotator to control the power of the laser. He also designs fixtures for the wave plate rotator and beam blocker, in order to implement them to the optical laser setup. He also writes software to control the wave plate rotator, using the program LabView. The software program will allow for constant and controlled adjustment of the laser power. He is also creating an automated tracking and trapping system using Labview software, which automatically and efficiently traps a sperm cell and releases it while simultaneously recording data. Tim also assists with the Communication team, he helps ensure that the team accomplishes their goals. By designing the automated tracking and trapping system, Tim helps the team achieve their goal of contributing to the field of infertility research.

FORCE SPECTROSCOPY IN LIVE SPERM CELLS

Infertility is a health issue that effects both men and women. Not all causes of infertility are understood, leaving infertile couples without means of treatment when the problem is unknown. There are many causes of infertility, and some are when the male’s sperm are not fertilizing the egg. One process that occurs in sperm is capacitation, and is required for fertilization. Capacitation occurs throughout the female tract, and is required for the sperm to penetrate an egg. This event prepares the sperm for fertilization by inducing hyperactivated motility in the sperm tail, and causing other changes related to the acrosome reaction that penetrates an eggs outer coat. The design team is interested in the effects of capacitation, particularly the hyperactivated swimming behavior, which is characterized by lateral head movements, and erratic tail beating in an unequal pattern.

Our team is using an instrument known as an optical tweezer to research capacitation. An optical tweezer is a high power, tightly focused laser-beam that can attract substances, to grab and trap entities on the microscopic scale. Our team is studying sperm using the laser to trap sperm and decrease the laser’s hold until they are able to escape. From the recorded power of the laser at the moment a sperm cell escapes, the swimming force of that cell can be determined. We are interested in comparing the swimming forces generated by sperm before and during capacitation.

With this project, sperm force found using an optical tweezer will reveal the characteristic behaviors of sperm in motion before and during capacitation. Investigating hyperactivated sperm behavior will uncover more information about reproduction and fertilization. Our project will expand on knowledge of capacitation, develop and use a method on the optical tweezer to measure data from sperm, and contribute to the discussion of male infertility.

THE TEAM

NICOLE BOTICKE

Nicole is a Biomedical and Chemical/Biological Engineer. As a member of the Chemical and Buffers team, she makes buffers for the sperm capacitation and non-capacitation experiments. These buffers ensure the sperm cells are kept at optimal conditions and allow the sperm cells to undergo the capacitation reaction. Nicole is also on the Mice and Sperm Cells team, she assists with euthanizing the mice and performing the surgical procedure to extract the tissue containing the mature sperm cells. Nicole is also on the Procedures team, she documents each stage of the project so the experiments can be repeated with no variation. The documentation of procedures will help the team ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

JEFF KOSTECKI

Jeff is a Biomedical and Chemical/Biological Engineer. As a member of the Chemicals and Buffers team, he makes buffers for the sperm capacitation and non-capacitation experiments. These buffers ensure the sperm cells are kept at optimal conditions and allow the sperm cells to undergo the capacitation reaction. Jeff is also on the Mice and Sperm Cells team, he assists with euthanizing the mice and performing the surgical procedure to extract the tissue containing the mature sperm cells. Jeff is also on the Procedures team, he documents each stage of the project so the experiments can be repeated with no variation. The documentation of procedures will help the team ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

QUINN OLSON

Quinn is a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer. As a member of the Mice and Sperm Cells team, he is in charge of euthanizing the mice, performing surgical procedures to obtain the tissue containing the mature sperm cells, and delivering the sperm cells to the optical tweezer setup. Quinn ensures the mice are euthanized ethically and that the surgical procedure is performed consistently so that each time the cells are extracted, they survive for the duration of the experiment. Quinn is also on the Communication team, he ensures the team accomplishes their goals of designing an automated tracking and trapping system. This design improves understanding of the sperm capacitation process and ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

TIM SEEK

Tim is a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer. As a member of the Software and Hardware team, he helps design a laser beam blocker, which automatically contains the optical laser beam with the push of a button using an anodized plate. Tim also designs a wave plate rotator to control the power of the laser. He also designs fixtures for the wave plate rotator and beam blocker, in order to implement them to the optical laser setup. He also writes software to control the wave plate rotator, using the program LabView. The software program will allow for constant and controlled adjustment of the laser power. He is also creating an automated tracking and trapping system using Labview software, which automatically and efficiently traps a sperm cell and releases it while simultaneously recording data. Tim also assists with the Communication team, he helps ensure that the team accomplishes their goals. By designing the automated tracking and trapping system, Tim helps the team achieve their goal of contributing to the field of infertility research.

FORCE SPECTROSCOPY IN LIVE SPERM CELLS

Infertility is a health issue that effects both men and women. Not all causes of infertility are understood, leaving infertile couples without means of treatment when the problem is unknown. There are many causes of infertility, and some are when the male’s sperm are not fertilizing the egg. One process that occurs in sperm is capacitation, and is required for fertilization. Capacitation occurs throughout the female tract, and is required for the sperm to penetrate an egg. This event prepares the sperm for fertilization by inducing hyperactivated motility in the sperm tail, and causing other changes related to the acrosome reaction that penetrates an eggs outer coat. The design team is interested in the effects of capacitation, particularly the hyperactivated swimming behavior, which is characterized by lateral head movements, and erratic tail beating in an unequal pattern.

Our team is using an instrument known as an optical tweezer to research capacitation. An optical tweezer is a high power, tightly focused laser-beam that can attract substances, to grab and trap entities on the microscopic scale. Our team is studying sperm using the laser to trap sperm and decrease the laser’s hold until they are able to escape. From the recorded power of the laser at the moment a sperm cell escapes, the swimming force of that cell can be determined. We are interested in comparing the swimming forces generated by sperm before and during capacitation.

With this project, sperm force found using an optical tweezer will reveal the characteristic behaviors of sperm in motion before and during capacitation. Investigating hyperactivated sperm behavior will uncover more information about reproduction and fertilization. Our project will expand on knowledge of capacitation, develop and use a method on the optical tweezer to measure data from sperm, and contribute to the discussion of male infertility.

THE TEAM

NICOLE BOTICKE

Nicole is a Biomedical and Chemical/Biological Engineer. As a member of the Chemical and Buffers team, she makes buffers for the sperm capacitation and non-capacitation experiments. These buffers ensure the sperm cells are kept at optimal conditions and allow the sperm cells to undergo the capacitation reaction. Nicole is also on the Mice and Sperm Cells team, she assists with euthanizing the mice and performing the surgical procedure to extract the tissue containing the mature sperm cells. Nicole is also on the Procedures team, she documents each stage of the project so the experiments can be repeated with no variation. The documentation of procedures will help the team ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

JEFF KOSTECKI

Jeff is a Biomedical and Chemical/Biological Engineer. As a member of the Chemicals and Buffers team, he makes buffers for the sperm capacitation and non-capacitation experiments. These buffers ensure the sperm cells are kept at optimal conditions and allow the sperm cells to undergo the capacitation reaction. Jeff is also on the Mice and Sperm Cells team, he assists with euthanizing the mice and performing the surgical procedure to extract the tissue containing the mature sperm cells. Jeff is also on the Procedures team, he documents each stage of the project so the experiments can be repeated with no variation. The documentation of procedures will help the team ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

QUINN OLSON

Quinn is a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer. As a member of the Mice and Sperm Cells team, he is in charge of euthanizing the mice, performing surgical procedures to obtain the tissue containing the mature sperm cells, and delivering the sperm cells to the optical tweezer setup. Quinn ensures the mice are euthanized ethically and that the surgical procedure is performed consistently so that each time the cells are extracted, they survive for the duration of the experiment. Quinn is also on the Communication team, he ensures the team accomplishes their goals of designing an automated tracking and trapping system. This design improves understanding of the sperm capacitation process and ultimately assist the field of infertility therapy with prescribing more targeted treatments.

TIM SEEK

Tim is a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer. As a member of the Software and Hardware team, he helps design a laser beam blocker, which automatically contains the optical laser beam with the push of a button using an anodized plate. Tim also designs a wave plate rotator to control the power of the laser. He also designs fixtures for the wave plate rotator and beam blocker, in order to implement them to the optical laser setup. He also writes software to control the wave plate rotator, using the program LabView. The software program will allow for constant and controlled adjustment of the laser power. He is also creating an automated tracking and trapping system using Labview software, which automatically and efficiently traps a sperm cell and releases it while simultaneously recording data. Tim also assists with the Communication team, he helps ensure that the team accomplishes their goals. By designing the automated tracking and trapping system, Tim helps the team achieve their goal of contributing to the field of infertility research.

main_csu_banner

Krapf Lab © 2018