About Reproductive Solutions, Inc.

Turning research into innovative applications to improve male fertility

Reproductive Solutions, Inc. (RSI), located in Lubbock, Texas, is a bioscience company which produces ProteX, a medical device for the improved collection of human semen. Utilizing a patented device and method, RSI’s mission is to utilize years of industry-leading research and innovative production methods and design to provide a more effective solution to the problem of male fertility.

In the US, one in seven couples are infertile, resulting in approximately six million couples seeking assisted reproduction procedures. In over 50% of infertile couples, the problem is with the male.

The current best practice is for the male semen to be collected in the clinic, using a common specimen cup. The use of the ProteX, in place of the common specimen cup, can allow the couple to collect the sample at home, although the process can be altered to fit the clinics needs. The use of ProteX will result in significantly higher viability of semen, which can result in couples being eligible for lower cost procedures, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and/or achieving success with a reduced number of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycles; the average cost is $12,000 per IVF cycle.

The ProteX medical device consists of three injection molded components whose designs provide an environment conducive to the preservation of the viability of the semen collected. The size of the assembled device is approximately equal to a 4-ounce specimen cup.

The results from FDA approved initial clinical trials, indicated significantly higher viability (37%) of semen. Using the common specimen cup, the percentage of pregnancies derived that carried to term and delivered a heathy baby was 40%, as compared to 100%, when ProteX was used. Fertility clinics are required to publish their success rates. It is projected that the use of ProteX will improve a fertility clinic’s success rate by 20 percentage points.

Information gathered through potential customer segment interviews, conducted during participation in the National Science Foundation Regional i-Corps program, confirms the market, problem and opportunity.

Our team

John C. Smothers

John C. Smothers


John has more than 40 years in management experience. John served as Senior Vice President of Product Development, managing design teams in Lubbock, New York and Hong Kong, driving a global company to 5x in sales and 20x in margins over a 5-year period.

John has experience managing more than 1,000 employees in a division of a national US company.

John founded and developed a management training company, focused on CEO’s and professional service providers, with more than 900 clients in the West Texas area.
John chaired, from the private sector side, the Lubbock Regional Bioscience Initiative, a program of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance from its inception until its closure, forming alliances with researchers, investors and professional service providers in the Lubbock region.

John is a founder and director of the Technology Research Assistance Consortium (TRAC), a 501c3 organization, responsible for grants and the establishment of the initial Regional Commercialization and Innovation Center, established in Lubbock, which was part of the State of Texas initiative to bring technologies out of universities.

John has a history of successful exits from 3 companies.

John has a passion for this technology, being a partner in a couple who tried for seven years to conceive their first child.

Sam D. Prien, PhD

Samuel D. Prien, PhD, HCLD


Dr. Prien holds the position of Professor and Director of Labs for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Department of Animal & Food Sciences at Texas Tech University.

Dr. Prien, deemed “our most prolific inventor” by TTUS-ORC, is a founding member and current Chairman of the Board for Reproductive Solutions, Inc. He holds over thirty-years in clinical and research aspects of assisted reproduction in both humans and animals. His work has been extends to over four hundred publications and presentations and he has been awarded forty grants totaling more than $2 million in research support. Dr. Prien has also been the recipient of numerous local and national research awards.

Dr. Prien’s work has resulted in 21 U.S. and associated international patents. Currently, two recent patents have been filed with others pending. Five technologies are currently engaged in license agreements for his innovative work.

His current focus is on “next generation” collection devices in collaboration with Reproductive Solutions which have been deemed patentable by TTUS-ORC.

Lindsay L. Penrose, Ph.D.

Lindsay Penrose, PhD

Vice President
Clinic Relations

Dr. Penrose is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University. She is a founding member and Secretary of the Board for RSI.

For over fifteen-years, Dr. Penrose has worked in the clinical and research aspects of assisted reproduction in both humans and animals with work published in over 70 publications and presentations. Her work has received 10 grants totaling $180,000 in research support.

She has been awarded multiple patents with two new patents filed and others pending, plus one technology licensed in industry.

Dr. Penrose has acted as Chief Prototype Designer and Developer for several technologies and is also currently working on “next generation” collection device initiatives in collaboration with RSI.

Dustie Johnson, PhD

Dustie Johnson, BS, MS, PhD

Vice President
Director of Sales and Marketing

With more than 11 years serving as a medical and scientific expert to the infertility community, Dr. Johnson has developed and maintained key relationship with medical and scientific community throughout the United States.

She has also provided high-level scientific support for KOLs, internal and external stakeholders for fertility, contraceptive, pre-mature birth, bone heath, human papilloma virus, women’s sexual health franchises including 7 brands. She has also developed and presented scientific presentations on products and disease states to key internal and external stakeholders.

Her work also includes Patent #6864046 for Improved Semen Collection/Extension Technique for Use With Artificial Insemination and Cryopreservation.

Dr. Johnson’s current initiatives include “next generation” collection device in collaboration with RSI, deemed patentable by TTUS-OC.

In addition, her notoriety includes research for 24 publications and scientific meeting presentations, numerous grants, awards, and honors.