Researchers to study effects of reversible control contraceptives on monkeys

By Ji Yuqiao Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/11 18:33:39

Researchers to study effects of reversible control contraceptives for birth control goals

Picture is one of figures of the paper, demonstrating the source of inspiration. Photo: Courtesy of Wang Xiaolei

Chinese researchers who had developed the reversible controlling male birth method to block sperms, after verifying the method's effectiveness on mice, announced on Monday their plan to move on to experiments on monkeys before clinical trials on humans in about two years.

Wang Xiaolei, a professor at the Nanchang University in East China's Jiangxi Province and the program's chief scientist, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Global Times on Monday.

Wang Xiaolei (left) and his fellow researcher conduct an experiment in Nanchang University's lab. Photo: Courtesy of Wang Xiaolei

 Wang said his new method is to inject reagents into the deferent duct, forming hydrogel to block sperms from flowing normally in a bid to achieve the birth control goals.

Common contraception methods include short-term measures such as condoms and permanent but irreversible surgeries. Wang pointed out that the new method fills up the medium-term (2-20 weeks) reversible contraception technology for males.

Inspired by layered cocktails, Wang developed the contraceptive with four different layers that can significantly inhibit sperm motility.

Another advantage of Wang's research is, compared with traditional birth control methods including the use of condoms or surgery, the contraceptive is reversible, because it can dissolve after being irradiated with near-infrared light for 5-10 minutes.

However, he was challenged by some foreign fellow researchers, such as Bill Colledge from the University of Cambridge, who said that as the dissolving temperature of the injection is set to be 43 C, taking a hot bath can make the contraceptive dissolve.

To defend his method, Wang explained that "hot bath can only increase the temperature of the skin surface, but deep tissues do not have temperature variations," he added. "But near-infrared light can heat the hydrogel in the deferent duct rapidly in the case of sustaining the temperature of the skin surface."

"It will be phenomenal after it is officially open to the public," Wang said.

However, the reversible contraceptive also has side effects. "If it artificially blocks sperms for too long a time, it will reduce sperm motility," Wang noted, warning that the longest time the contraceptive stays in the body should be within one year.

Newspaper headline: Researchers to study effects of reversible control contraceptives for birth control goals

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