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Southampton University Spin-off Develops a Device to Diagnose Infertility

Southampton University Spin-off Develops a Device to Diagnose Infertility
Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Supported by the University of Southampton and the NHS, the spin-off company Vivoplex Medical is trying to help identify reasons behind infertility and, hopefully, be able to propose simple solutions when possible. [1] Currently it is estimated that doctors are unable to find a cause for somewhere around a third of infertility cases. [2]

The device being developed is just 3.8mm across and monitors temperature, pH, and oxygen levels within the womb. While these are elements which have been shown impact a woman’s ability to get pregnant, there is no current method to obtain this data. [1] As the device will be inserted into the uterus, it will allow for real time information to be collected, hopefully changing how we understand reproductive physiology. In addition, it will help doctors to optimise existing treatments for couples trying to conceive. [3] In some cases, something as simple as an aspirin (which increases blood flow) could be a viable solution [1].

Vivoplex Medical has the potential to help couples have children without resorting to more extreme methods, such as IVF treatments. With the hope that the device will be successful, the research branch of the NHS (the National Institute for Health Research) is funding a clinical trial. If success, the company will apply for a safety licence within the next year. [2]