Pioneering Sperm DNA Damage Research, DNA Fragmentation

Communicating Science to Society

To read about Prof Sheena Lewis’ latest research:

We have a strong track record of public engagement with my research. Prof Lewis communicates our latest research findings regularly through international TV, radio and online interviews. In 2004, our recent studies featured on three consecutive days as the top BBC Health Online story:

Cannabis ‘damages male fertility’: Source – BBC News
Viagra use ‘may damage fertility’ : Source – BBC News
Warning over vasectomy reversals : Source – BBC News

Again in May 2007 and August 2008 our research on diabetes and male fertility were lead news stories of the day around the world.

Diabetes may cut male fertility : Source – BBC News

Prof Lewis has  also given numerous interviews to national press on male fertility issues (see examples below)

Low fertility: The daddy of all problems : Source – The Independent

Diabetes may cause surge in male fertility, scientists warn : Source – The Guardian

Timing is key to fathering children: Source – Irish Times

Time’s up for fatherhood : Source – Irish Times

Study suggests Viagra could impair fertility : Source – Irish Times

Belfast breakthrough offers hope to infertile couples : Source – BBC News

Latest research by Lewis Fertility Testing Ltd

We are currently developing an advanced test to predict success with ICSI. None of the existing DNA damage tests can predict ISCI success accurately.

DNA is made up of 2 strands wrapped around each other linked by molecules called  bases.  Damage to these bases can lead to strand breaks.  They also indicate  early damage caused by oxidative stress. This is known to be a major cause of Sperm DNA damage and DNA fragmentation.

Our novel test measures early DNA damage (modified base changes) as well as  more  commonly recognised damage (strand breaks) giving us even more detailed information about sperm health.

Men with sperm DNA fragmentation above these thresholds have a high risk of failure with conventional ICSI treatment with ejaculated sperm  and may be advised to use sperm from a testicular biopsy. This test will be on the market soon.

Scientific Research

  • Fertile eggs can repair sperm DNA.
  • DNA of Innovation.
  • The effects of coital lubricants.
  • The comet assay in human biomonitoring.
  • The effect of sperm DNA fragmentation on miscarriage rates.
  • Healthy baby born after reduction of sperm DNA fragmentation using cell sorting before ICSI
  • An algorithm to predict pregnancy in assisted reproduction
  • Comparison of the effects of two methods of cryopreservation on testicular sperm DNA
  • Sperm chromatin structure is associated with the quality of spermatogenesis in infertile patients
  • Differences in mitochondrial and nuclear DNA status of high-density and low-density sperm fractions after density centrifugation preparation
  • Characterization of subsets of human spermatozoa at different stages of maturation: implications in the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility
  • Sperm DNA damage measured by the alkaline Comet assay as an independent predictor of male infertility and in vitro fertilization success
  • Sperm DNA damage or progressive motility: which one is the better predictor of fertilization in vitro?
  • Clinical significance of sperm DNA damage in assisted reproductive outcome
  • Relationships between human sperm protamines, DNA damage and assisted reproduction outcomes