Guided by a directional movement called rheotaxis, sperm cells swim against the flow of cervical mucus to reach the egg for fertilization. However, this journey is even more important when considering infertility.
In the United States, an estimated 15 percent of couples have trouble conceiving. Globally, approximately 48.5 million couples experience infertility.,
All treatment costs for infertility can range from $5,000 to $73,000. An estimated 85 percent of IVF costs are often paid out of pocket.
Assisted reproductive techniques such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection require healthy sperm cells for successful results.
Current centrifugation methods for sperm sorting require multiple steps and a variety of equipment and take approximately two hours to separate sperm cells. These methods damage sperm during processing and induce significant DNA fragmentation and oxidative stress.
A new study published in the journal Royal Society of Chemistry analystshowed that sperm cells isolated from the collecting chamber in this microfluidic chip exhibited significantly higher motility (approximately 100 percent), a higher number of morphologically normal cells, and significantly less DNA fragmentation, an important parameter for the fertilization process. Is.
,Our chip is very easy to operate. Once the semen is loaded into the sample inlet chamber, competent sperm cells begin to move against the fluid flow towards the collecting chamber, from where they can be more easily collected.Wasim Asghar, PhD, senior author, an associate professor in FAU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said.
In addition, this chip provides a one-step, one-hour operating mileage that an operator can use with minimal training. The study also confirms that rhytaxis selects healthy, motile and high velocity sperm cells for the fertilization process.,
The technology will also substantially reduce the economic burden of implementing fertility treatments and provides both isolated chip and sperm cells with great clinical importance and applicability.