, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 561-570
Date: 10 Jan 2007

Development of sorting, aligning, and orienting motile sperm using microfluidic device operated by hydrostatic pressure

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Abstract

In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are the most commonly used assisted reproductive technologies to overcome male infertility problems. One of the obstacles of IVF and ICSI procedures is separating motile sperm from non-motile sperm to select the most competent sperm population from any given sperm sample. In addition, orientation and separation of the head from the tail is another obstacle for ICSI. Using the self-movement of sperm against flow direction, motile and non-motile sperm can be separated with an inexpensive polymeric microfluidic system. In this paper, we describe the development of a microfluidic system obtained through low-cost fabrication processes. We report experimental results of sperm sorting using hydrostatic pressure of three different species: bull, mouse, and human. The movement of cells in these channels was observed under a microscope and recorded with a digital camera. It is shown that the hydrostatic pressure and self-movement of motile sperm can be used to solve separating, aligning and orienting sperm in the microchannel.