The tail (flagellum) of the sperm does not simply push the body, but uses a rhythmical beating with pushing and fraying over a 4-beat pattern, as demonstrated in the video. The new dynamical model for a swimming sperm was developed by Kenta Ishimoto at Kyoto University using high-frame-rate microscopic images to obtain detailed information of the moving tail. The hope is that by understanding the swimming mechanism used by sperm, we may be able to better treat infertility issues in the future.
This video is part of a collaboration between FYFD and the Journal of Fluid Mechanics featuring a series of interviews with researchers from the APS DFD 2017 conference.
Sponsored by FYFD, the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, and the UK Fluids Network. Produced by Tom Crawford and Nicole Sharp with assistance from A.J. Fillo.
DO THE SPERM DANCE (sound on):