Rheotaxis-based sperm separation using a biomimicry microfluidic device

Iman Ramazani Sarbandi, Ali Lesani, Mahdi Moghimi Zand, Reza Nosrati

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Sperm selection is crucial to assisted reproduction, influencing the success rate of the treatment cycle and offspring health. However, in the current clinical sperm selection practices, bypassing almost all the natural selection barriers is a major concern. Here, we present a biomimicry microfluidic method, inspired by the anatomy of the female reproductive tract, that separates motile sperm based on their rheotaxis behavior to swim against the flow into low shear rate regions. The device includes micropocket geometries that recall the oval-shaped microstructures of the female fallopian tube to create shear protected zones for sperm separation. Clinical tests with human samples indicate that the device is capable of isolating viable and highly motile sperm based on their rheotaxis responses, resulting in a separation efficiency of 100%. The device presents an automated alternative for the current sperm selection practices in assisted reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18327
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2021

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