, Volume 28, Issue 8, pp 725-729
Date: 11 Jun 2011

Digital holographic microscopy in human sperm imaging

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to use digital holographic microscopy (DHM) in human sperm imaging and compare quantitative phase contrast of sperm heads in normozoospermia (NZ) and oligoasthenozoospermia (OAT).

Methods

DHM spermatozoa imaging and repeated quantitative phase shift evaluation were used. Five NZ and 5 OAT samples were examined. Semen samples were examined by semen analysis and processed for DHM. Main outcome measures were maximum phase shift value of the sperm heads. Differences of the phase shift and in NZ and OAT samples were statistically tested.

Results

In NZ samples median phase shifts were in the range 2.72–3.21 rad and 2.00–2.15 in OAT samples. Differences among individual samples were statistically significant (p < 0.001) in both groups. Median phase shift according to sperm count was 2.90 rad in NZ samples and 2.00 rad in OAT samples. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001).

Conclusion

Quantitative evaluation of the phase shift by DHM could provide new information on the exact structure and composition of the sperm head. At present, this technique is not established for clinical utility.

Capsule

Quantitative evaluation of the phase shift by digital holographic microscopy could provide new information on the exact structure and composition of the sperm head.