The zona pellucida (ZP) is a multilayer glycoprotein spherical shell surrounding mammalian eggs. The ZP's mechanical response plays a crucial role in mammalian fertilization and is a parameter commonly adopted in "in vitro fertilization" to characterize the oocytes quality. While it is assumed that ZP mechanical response is purely elastic, here we prove that dissipative forces cannot be neglected. Physiologically, this evidence implies that an increase in the spermatozoa motility can induce dramatic changes on the ZP reaction force turning ZP shell in an impenetrable barrier leading to fertility impairments.
- Zona Pellucida