FertDish: microfluidic sperm selection-in-a-dish for intracytoplasmic sperm injection

Sa Xiao, Jason Riordon, Mohammad Simchi, Alexander Lagunov, Thomas Hannam, Keith Jarvi, Reza Nosrati, David Sinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The selection of high quality sperm is critical for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a prevalent assisted reproduction technology. However, standard selection methods are time-consuming and fail to recover the most viable sperm, thereby limiting the ICSI success rate. Microfluidics enables rapid selection of viable sperm in a manner representingin vivoprocesses, however, existing platforms lack clinical applicability. Here, we present FertDish, which integrates the clinically established ICSI Petri dish with a film featuring an array of sperm-selecting microchannels for selection of sperm directly from semen. The FertDish format mimics the clinician-familiar ICSI dish setup, and provides rapid (<10 min) single stage sperm preparation that circumvents standard labour-intensive multi-stage sperm processing steps. Tests with human donor and patient semen samples show that FertDish enables the selection of a high quality sperm sub-population, featuring improvements in DNA fragmentation index of more than 91% (donor) and 74% (patient)versusraw semen and 50% (donor) and 63% (patient)versusstandard methods, and a distribution of more than 97% sperm with viable and high level DNA. The FertDish enables a high sperm recovery rate (>3.3 × 105sperm per mL), and is readily adaptable to the clinical workflow with potential to improve ICSI outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021

Cite this