Rapid selection of sperm with high DNA integrity

Reza Nosrati, Marion Vollmer, Lise Eamer, Maria C. San Gabriel, Krista Zeidan, Armand Zini, David Sinton

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108 Citations (Scopus)


Sperm selection is essential to assisted reproductive technology (ART), influencing treatment outcomes and the health of offspring. The fundamental challenge of sperm selection is dictated by biology: a heterogeneous population of ~108 sperm per milliliter with a short lifetime in vitro. However, conventional sperm selection approaches result in less than 50% improvement in DNA integrity. Here, a clinically applicable microfluidic device is presented that selects sperm based on the progressive motility in 500 parallel microchannels. The result is a one-step procedure for semen purification and high DNA integrity sperm selection from 1 mL of raw semen in under 20 minutes. Experiments with bull sperm indicate more than 89% improvement in selected sperm vitality. Clinical tests with human sperm show more than 80% improvement in human DNA integrity, significantly outperforming the best current practices. These results demonstrate the presence of a sub-population of sperm with nearly intact chromatin and DNA integrity, and a simple clinically-applicable lab-on-a-chip method to select this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1142-1150
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

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