Golden Opportunity for Male Contraception

By Michael Edmonds 16/06/2013 4


Researchers at the University of Science and Technology in China have successfully demonstrated a new approach to male contraception in mice using gold nanorods. Following a single injection of a solution containing the nanorods into the testes of the mice, an infra-red laser was used to heat the nanorods to between 37 and 45 degrees Celsius. Depending on the extend of irradiation the mice were either temporarily sterilised (fertility recovered to about 50% after 60 days) or permanently sterilised (temperatures around 45 degrees Celsius kill sperm producing cells and not just sperm cells).

This technique still requires further investigation in animal models, but as a non-surgical, non-drug approach to male contraception it certainly looks promising, though I suspect most male readers would shudder at the thought of a testicular injection.

More details about this new technique can be found here


4 Responses to “Golden Opportunity for Male Contraception”

  • You want to insert metal slivers into a man’s testicles and heat them (the metal bits) to 45 degrees celcius. Frankly, I don’t see many volunteers for the clinical trials.

  • possum,
    not metal slivers, the nanorods would be much smaller., they would have to be to affect all of the sperm cells.

    Still, I can see there would be challenges in selling this technique to men 😉
    Though I would have thought it had the potential to be less painful and invasive than a vasectomy???

  • You could sell your “gold-‘n-gonads” when you die and give the money to your kids!

    Would David Beckham need to do this? Given his nickname all he needs is the laser….

    • Hmm, I wonder if over the long term whether the body would be able to eliminate the nanorods? I’m not sure the amount fo gold present would amount to much, Ross. The highest concentration solution used was a 145 µM gold nanorod solution.