Developing bio-electrosprays for handling and storing of gametes

Helen O Neill (primary)
Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Institute for Women's Health
University College London
Suwan Jayasinghe (secondary)
Department of Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Engineering Sciences
University College London (UCL)


We have recently shown that human sperm could be handled using bio-electrosprays (publication currently
under review). This work provides pilot data and motivation, to take advantage of this discovery for its utility
in many areas of reproductive biology and medicine most applicable to both human and animal health. In the
proposed project, we wish to thoroughly understand all aspects of bio-electrospraying human and animal
sperm, for its exploitation in assisting the cryopreservation and storage of gametes in patients with low sperm
count. These applications also extend to the agriculture arena for rare breeds. The student choosing this
project would thus be exposed to hybrid research investigating in-depth aspects of both the physical and life
sciences fields of research and development.


1. O’Neill, HC, Nikoloska, M, HO, HT, Williamson, E, Doshi, A, Pabón Realpe, D, Maalouf, M (2018)
Improved cryopreservation of spermatozoa using vitrification; comparison of cryoprotectants and a
novel device for long term storage Human Reproduction Human Reproduction HUMREP-18-1188
2. N Gonen N, A Quinn, HC O’Neill, P Koopman, R Lovell-Badge (2017) Normal Levels of Sox9
Expression in the Developing Mouse Testis Depend on the TES/TESCO Enhancer, but This Does Not
Act Alone. PLOS Genet 13(1):e1006520
3. Smith, B, HC O’Neill, Serhal, P “Fertilization Method of Choice: IVF or Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm
Injection in Relation to Outcomes of ART Cycles”) 2018 Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
4. Jayasinghe SN, Qureshi AN, Eagles PA, “Electrohydrodynamic jet processing: an advanced electric field-driven jetting phenomenon for processing living cells.” .Small 2006; (2):216-9.
5. eLife 2017; 6:e21283.

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsEngineeringGeneticsMathematics / StatisticsMolecular Biology