Developing a handy sperm testing device is important since sperm quality is a significant factor for fertility potential. In this paper, we demonstrate a sperm testing device based on a switchable surface, a liquid crystal and polymer composite film (LCPCF). The wettability of LCPCF is electrically switchable due to the electrically tunable orientations of liquid crystal molecules. In experiments, two motions of a semen drop on switchable surface of LCPCF are observed: back-and-forth stretches and collapses of semen drops. The better quality spermatozoa results in back-and-forth stretches of a semen drop on LCPCF; otherwise, the semen drop collapses. The motility and concentration of semen can also be sensed by the stretch distance and collapse distance of semen drops, respectively. The mechanism of back-and-forth stretches of semen drops results from fertile sperms swimming against the flow with the periodic changes of the orientation of LC molecules with pulsed voltages. The mechanism of collapses of semen drops results from the washed-away infertile sperms which are deposited on LCPCF and then re-modify surface of LCPCF. Potential applications for this device include sperm testers and microfluidic devices for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
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