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A micro technique has been developed to facilitate the study of electric field effects on the swimming pattern of sperm cells. The instrumentation for this technique, a micro-electrophoresis vessel, a metering motion picture projector, and a simple analog computer for data handling, are briefly described. It is shown experimentally that 1) an electric field imposed on a cell suspension acts primarily to direct the cells to the anode without appreciably changing their swimming speed, and 2) the field effects are not linear functions of field strength. It is postulated that the field effect is primarily galvanotaxis and that the cells seek a position of minimum stimulation and therefore must have a transverse sensitivity axis.
Date of Publication: Sept. 1959