Sperm syringe: 3D sorting platform for assisted reproduction

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Selection of high-quality sperm is crucial to assisted reproduction. However, conventional clinical methods for sperm selection are manual and prone to operator errors. This article presents ‘sperm syringe', a scalable technology that mimics the highly parallelized 3D selection process in vivo via a 3D network of 560 microchannels to select high-quality sperm. Sperm syringe retrieves more than 41% of healthy sperm from the initial sperm sample in under 15 min, providing a sufficient volume (≈500 µL) and number (1,600,000) of high-quality sperm for fertility treatments. Experiments with bull and human sperm indicate 65% improvement in selected sperm morphology and DNA integrity, considerably outperforming the current best clinical practices. This approach enables the selection of a subpopulation of high-quality human sperm from an oligozoospermia sample with DNA integrity below the reference value for fertility. The fabrication method of the device is also simple and scalable, representing a commercially viable technology for translation and clinical adoption. Sperm syringe provides a promising opportunity for clinics to use less invasive assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) over intracytoplasmic sperm injection, thus reducing the associated clinical workload and optimizing long-term health outcomes for ART-conceived children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2101291
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • 3D printing
  • assisted reproduction
  • infertility
  • microfluidics
  • sperm selection

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