"Team CatSper" won the Audience Award at the Science2Startup competition of University of Münster. We would like to thank everyone who supported us and believed in our mission to help couples who want to have children!


The CatSper-Test in the media | esanum

The social network for physicians

Einfluss von Alter und Genetik auf die Vaterschaft | by Dr. Marcus Mau

[translated from German into English]

Influence of age and genetics on fatherhood

-from the article-

...The sperm of affected men appear normal and motile. However, if the function of an ion channel (CatSper) is disturbed,  the sperm cannot penetrate the egg coat and thus, cannot fertilize the egg.

Couples in which the man has this gene mutation can only conceive by means of assisted fertilization through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Testing for this particular gene alteration saves the couple many futile attempts at fertility treatment. The CatSper test, a "rapid sperm test" is available that detects the absence of the ion channel during a routine examination...

Link to the article (German)

July 2022 - Winner of the Science4Life Venture Cup 2022

Team "CatSper" won first place at the business plan competition from the start-up initiative Science4Life in Frankfurt (a.M.). The competition included the submission of a formal business plan and a presentation in front of a panel of experts. The link to the competition

March 2022 - The CatSper-Test was a feature in the 3Sat documentary: "Wundersaft Sperma"

CatSper-Test feature at: 35:10 - 37:30 (in German)


October 2021 - The BRZ-Award for young research goes to...

For his presentation at the 9th DVR Congress, Dr. Christian Schiffer received the "BRZ Award for Young Research" from the Berufsverband reproduktionsmedizinischer Zentren Deutschlands e.V. (Professional Association of Reproductive Medicine Centers in Germany) on behalf of the entire team involved in the development of the novel CatSper test.
The award is endowed with a five-digit sum for the production of a documentary film, which is intended to present our work to the public as well as to experts. We are very grateful and proud to receive this great honor and are already looking forward to filming.


2021/05 Double success at the 2021 European Testis Workshop

Our group was represented by two contributions at the European Testis Workshop. Rita Rahban, a former guest scientist, presented our results on the effect of antidepressants on sperm and Christian Schiffer reported on our research results concerning infertile men due to loss of CatSper-channel function.

Both presentations were awarded prizes by the organizing committee!

August 2021 - News from the Medical Faculty of the WWU

With EXIST to market maturity: WWU research group develops laboratory test for early detection of male infertility

Vincent Fischer and Samuel Young (left to right)  

Link to Article (German)

DER SPIEGEL reports about our research and the new CatSper test

Issue No. 38, 12.09.2020

Der unfruchtbare Mann - Kampf gegen eine unterschätzte Volkskrankeit (English: The infertile male - the fight against an underestimated disease)

By Barbara Hardinghaus and Maik Großekathöfer

[translated from German into English]

-from the article- 

...The egg releases biological messengers, hormones that are like signposts for the sperm. They use these to orient themselves in the woman's reproductive tract. Just as immune cells in the blood track down bacteria, the sperm track down the egg. To do this, they have a sensor in the membrane of their tail, a protein called CatSper. If this protein is defective, a man is infertile. The Strünker group has developed a rapid test that has been used in Münster for about a year. With a pipette, ejaculate is placed into two small tubes. Then one waits half an hour. If the sperm no longer swim, they are healthy;  they stop moving because they are not picking up a signal from the egg. Sperm with defective sensors keep looking for...


Our research was highlighted at the 8th DVR Congress

December 2019 | by Gabriele Wickert

Schnelltest für "hilfsbedürftige" Spermien in Erprobung (English: Rapid test for "needy" sperm in trials)

In the near future, a relatively simple new sperm test could save couples wanting to have children a long and hard journey: It identifies men whose sperm are naturally incapable of fertilizing an egg cell - even though the sperm lok and swim normal. This is due to a defect of an ion channel in the cell membrane (CatSper). With this defect, the only way to conceive is to inject a sperm directly into the egg (ICSI).

Link to the article (German)

2019_Q3 | forschung - the magazine of the German Research Foundation: „The forgotten Man“

by Prof. Dr. Jörg Gromoll, Dr. Christian Schiffer und Prof. Dr. med. Frank Tüttelmann

The causes of infertility and involuntary childlessness in couples can be due to either men, women, or both. But the "reproductive health" of the male sex has long been neglected. Research is now focusing on a change of view.

Link to the article (German)

Unfulfilled desire to have a child: Treatment and research into male infertility at the UKM

(in German)

Zum Abspielen des Videos wird dieses von einem Webserver der Firma Google™ LLC geladen. Dabei werden Daten an Google™ LLC übertragen.

May 2019 Wissenschaftskommunikation | "We must carefully distinguish between the results and possible interpretations"

by Ulrike Brandt-Bohne

Scientific data can be misunderstood. This was the experience of chemist Christian Schiffer when he published his research results and very different headlines came out about it. From absolutely correct, to quite wrong. He tells us what he learned from this in an interrview

Link to the article (German)