Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2003 Jan;54(1):56-63.

How spermatozoa come to be confined to surfaces.

Author information

Laboratoire de Biologie du Developpement, UMR 7009 CNRS, Villefranche-sur-Mer Cedex, France.


In most detailed studies, sea urchin sperm movement has been analyzed mainly from observations of spermatozoa swimming at the interface between two media: water/air or water/glass. When spermatozoa are placed on a microscope slide, they rapidly appear to swim near those interfaces. The aim of this article is to determine how they become confined to the vicinity of surfaces. High-speed observations of moving spermatozoa reveal blurred portions in the flagellum images that propagate from base to tip, suggesting that flagellar waves contain an out-of-plane component. The model we have developed depicts how this tri-dimensional component tends to keep spermatozoa close to interfaces and, as a consequence, increases the time of contact between the egg surface and spermatozoa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center