The advent of cryopreservation has revolutionised the field of reproductive science, offering a lifeline for individuals seeking to preserve their fertility for future use. However, while cryopreservation enables the long-term storage of sperm, it comes with its own set of challenges, particularly regarding sperm quality and viability post-thaw.

In a groundbreaking collaboration between researchers at the University of Newcastle and the scientific team at Memphasys, a novel cryoprotectant medium has been developed, offering new hope for the preservation of sperm integrity.

Published in the prestigious journal “Antioxidants,” the research paper authored by Alena Hungerford, a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle, alongside Professor John Aitken and Associate Professor Hassan Bakos of Memphasys, sheds light on the intricate relationship between antioxidant availability, oxidative stress, and sperm quality.

The study revealed that the addition of vitamin C to thawed semen samples exhibited remarkable potential in mitigating the loss of antioxidant capacity, vitality, and DNA integrity caused by cryopreservation-induced oxidative stress. Among the various antioxidants assessed, vitamin C emerged as the most effective in restoring sperm function, offering a beacon of hope for individuals grappling with fertility challenges.

Moreover, the research team successfully developed a novel cryoprotectant medium utilising vitamin C, surpassing the limitations of current commercial media. The innovative medium, designed to enhance sperm viability and DNA integrity post-thaw, marks a significant milestone in the field of reproductive biotechnology.

Central to the success of this research was the utilisation of the RoXsta system, a cutting-edge technology employed extensively to assess antioxidant levels and oxidative damage in semen samples. The RoXsta system played a pivotal role in determining the optimal antioxidant dosage and identifying vitamin C as the preferred antioxidant for sperm preservation.

Professor John Aitken remarked, “This novel technology holds immense promise in revolutionising the assessment of oxidative damage across various industries, from food science to medicine.”

As Memphasys moves forward with patenting the RoXsta system and seeks commercial partners for its early applications, the findings of this study underscore the transformative potential of antioxidant-based interventions in preserving sperm quality and advancing reproductive health.