How sperm swim near surfaces

How sperm swim near surfaces  Credit:   Raymond Goldstein

How sperm swim near surfaces Credit: Raymond Goldstein

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Interactions between swimming cells and surfaces feature prominently in a wide range of microbiological processes, most importantly in the formation of bacterial films and during the fertilisation of the human egg. Yet, surprisingly little has been known about the physical mechanisms that govern the accumulation of microbes at surfaces.

The new research explains why sperm cells remain trapped for long periods near surfaces, a feature that may be of fundamental importance in understanding physical aspects of fertilisation.


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