There is currently a saline-filled testicle prosthesis available to men who’ve lost a testicle and want to fill the void for a more natural look. But, the testicle does not produce sperm and is thus nothing more than a bag of saltwater implanted for looks. Scientists and fertility doctors want to change that, but the replacement part they are attempting to construct won’t look like a testicle at all.
The Tube Shaped Testicle
The replacement testicle would look something like a transparent tube, according to researchers at the Turek Clinic. Sperm production takes place in the seminiferous tubule, which is likely the model for the research model. There are 12 production states, up to 10 of which scientists have recreated in a lab setting, but those final stages are no possible outside of the human testicle. Researchers at the Turek Clinic need to recreate the environment where sperm are formed exactly as it forms in the human body to make the replacement testicle work, but they’ve not managed to accomplish that just yet.
In addition to the difficulties the team has already faced, there is the problem of longevity. Researchers suggest that the replacement testicle will only last through one production cycle. That means the prosthesis will need to be replaced every fertility cycle. It takes just 70 days for the cycle to complete. The replacement testicle cannot be permanently implanted if it needs to be replaced about every two months, so doctors also face the problem of attaching the testicle to the body temporarily.
One HUGE Question
If researchers create a working human testicle that produces sperm – why would it need to be attached to the human body at all? If sperm can be produced without the male body, why would men need to be around at all?
Whether you think the artificial sperm is a great idea or a scary thought it up to you, but one thing is certain. If the Turek team is able to recreate the human testicle and that testicle is able to produce sperm outside the human body – the face of fertility and reproduction will change dramatically.