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Nano Lett. 2013 Jun 12;13(6):2477-84.

Achieving a new controllable male contraception by the photothermal effect of gold nanorods.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China.


During the process of human civilization, owning household pets has become increasingly popular. However, dogs and cats may be reservoirs or vectors of transmissible diseases to humans. Confronted with the overpopulation of pets, traditional contraception methods, surgical methods of sterilization, for animals are used, namely, ovariohysterectomy and orchidectomy. Therefore, a simple, nonsurgical, controllable, more effective and less expensive contraception method is highly desirable. In this study, we show that in situ testicular injection of methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-modified gold nanorods with near-infrared irradiation in male mice can achieve short-lived or permanent male infertility. In a lower hyperthermia treatment, the morphology of testes and seminiferous tubules is only partly injured, and fertility indices are decreased to 10% at day 7, then recovered to 50% at day 60. In a higher hyperthermia treatment, the morphology of testes and seminiferous tubules are totally destroyed, and fertility indices are decreased to 0 at day 7. Overall, our results indicate a potential application of plasmonic nanomaterials for male contraception.

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