Artificial testicle could treat male infertility

Researchers in California hope to become the first in the world to build an artificial testicle that produces human sperm. Such a device could allow infertile men to conceive children.

While recent studies have shown it’s possible to treat infertile male mice by producing sperm using stem cells from the mouse, the same has not been done for humans, said researcher Dr. Paul Turek, director of the Turek Clinic, a men’s health medical practice in San Francisco.

Using a newly received government grant, Turek and his fellow researchers hope to develop a human “sperm-making biological machine,” he said.

Unlike a non-sperm-producing prosthesis — a saline-filled implant for men missing a testicle — the device will not be designed to resemble a testicle.    Instead it will most closely resemble a cylindrical bag a few inches long, Turek said, creating a final product that looks something like a transparent, over-sized

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