Congratulations to Ulrike Schimpf and co-authors for the latest publication in our group. We are proud of this work and everyone involved in it. It is the result of a 2 years effort over multiple labs including the ANOVA clinical at Karolinska University Hospital, the IMP lab in Lyon, and us at KTH.

Schimpf, Ulrike, Gilai Nachmann, Stephane Trombotto, Petr Houska, Hongji Yan, Lars Björndahl, and Thomas Crouzier. 2019. “Assessment of Oligo-Chitosan Biocompatibility toward Human Spermatozoa.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, December.

This work stems from our previous work looking at the use of low molar mass chitosan polysaccharides as a way to reinforce the barrier properties of mucus. This mucus-reinforcing strategy is currently under investigation as a new approach to contraception, where chitosan could be used to crosslink cervical mucus. Then the question of chitosan compatibility with spermatozoa became very relevant to us.

As we searched the literature, we found claims regarding spermicidal properties of chitosans in many articles. Typically, the claims were made in the introduction of the articles, referencing reviews that themselves referenced other reviews. It was hard to track down any original study clearly showing this. By the way, please do contact us if you know of such a study.

So we took the matter in our own hands. Ulrike has access to human sperm samples in collaboration with the ANOVA clinic of Karolinska University Hospital. We chose the oligo-chitosans which are soluble at neutral pH to make sure we isolate the effect of chitosan. The effect of high molar mass chitosan would be very hard to decipher since the low pH necessary to dissolve them would itself have a large effect on spermatozoa activity.

We found that the oligo-chitosan is not cytotoxic to the spermatozoa, but that it does decrease the velocity and ATP production at high dose.

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February 11th, 2020

Postdoc position opening in mucus engineering

December 27th, 2019

New article on chitosan biocompatibility

October 3rd, 2019

Congratulation to Hongji for his latest paper on in vivo immune modulation of mucin hydrogels

May 27th, 2019

Congratulations to Georgia Petrou for graduating!

May 25th, 2019

Welcome to our new lab members

February 27th, 2019

New video of our work

January 7th, 2019

Looking for a postdoc in slime?

January 2nd, 2019

Protein Materials Conference 7-8th March 2019

December 13th, 2018

Celebrating the Nobel prize week with 70 young scientists

November 19th, 2018

New publication: Reversible Condensation of Mucins into Nanoparticles