Benefits and challenges of nanomaterials in assisted reproductive technologies

Mol Reprod Dev. 2021 Nov;88(11):707-717. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23536. Epub 2021 Sep 22.


Assisted reproductive technology (ART) have contributed to preserve fertility in humans and to increase multiplication of genetically superior animals. Despite being highly practiced worldwide, ART presents some challenges, especially because gametes and embryos are kept in vitro for a variable period of time, and the oxidative stress in vitro can have negative impact on oocyte competence and embryo development. Nanotechnology needs to be considered to help overcome some of those impairments, since it can provide strategies to deliver antioxidants and hormones to gametes and embryos in vitro. The application of nanotechnology to ART can allow the development of new protocols using nanomaterials to improve in vitro oocyte competence and embryo production. This review discusses the applicability of nanomaterials to improve sperm selection, to deliver antioxidants and hormones to preantral follicles, oocytes, and embryos in vitro, as well as the concerns about using nanotechnology in ART.

Keywords: embryos; nanoparticles; oocytes; preantral follicles; sperm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Male
  • Nanostructures*
  • Oocytes
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted*
  • Spermatozoa