LONDON: A remote-controlled implant that can stop the flow of sperm may make vasectomies a thing of the past.
The valve-like device can be opened and shut at the press of a button and could be used as a form of male contraception as it can be inserted into each sperm-carrying tube using a needle.
Men would simply point the remote handset at their testicles and press a button to open up the valve, the Daily Mail reported.
Reversal procedures post vasectomies work only in around 50 per cent of cases, often because scarring where cuts were made mean sperm cannot get through.
Research also suggests vasectomies leave many men with abnormalities in their sperm that could dramatically reduce the
chances of fathering a child.
The remote-controlled implant could be a better alternative as it is made from silicone-based materials, which the body's defence mechanisms usually recognise as 'friendly' and reduces the risk of reaction or infection.
Professor Derek Abbott, who heads the research team at the University of Adelaide, said the idea is that the valve remains shut most of the time and acts as a contraceptive barrier.
The implant is undergoing laboratory tests before being tried on animals. Human studies are unlikely to take place until those experiments are complete.