Bio-inspired engineering has been promisingly spotlighted recently due to the replication of unique natural environments and processes. Fertilization occurs when sperm meets an egg, typically within the uterine tube. Using bio-inspired engineering, we developed natural uterine mimicry for studying sperm motility via the synthetic microfluidic tube system. Mature sperm were collected from the testicular cauda epididymis, and subsequently remained stable for up to 2 days. The primary sperm cells were infused into a single 1.5 cm wrinkle wave patterned microfluidic channel, moving in a prototypical forward sine wave pattern. This study may be useful in understanding the natural behavior of sperm and also may be applied to fertility treatments in the future.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ball, P. Nature’s color tricks. Scientific American 76–79 (2012).
Sullivan, T. & Regan, F. Biologically inspired design: Biomimetic design of novel antifouling materials for application to environmental sensing technologies. J. Ocean Tech. 6, 41–54 (2011).
Yoo, J.-W. et al. Bio-inspired, bioengineered and biomimetic drug delivery carriers. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 10, 521–535 (2011).
Bae, S.J. et al. A gene-networked gel matrix-supported lipid bilayer as a synthetic nucleus system. Langmuir 28, 17036–17042 (2012).
Menguc, Y. Bioinspired materials: Gecko-inspired controllable adhesive structures applied to micromanipulation. Adv. Mater. 6, 1245 (2012).
Gadelha, H. et al. Nonlinear instability in flagellar dynamics: a novel modulation mechanism in sperm migration? J. R. Soc. Interface 7, 1689–1697 (2010).
Smith, D.J. et al. Bend propagation in the flagella of migrating human sperm, and its modulation by viscosity. Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 66, 220–236 (2009).
Xie, L. et al. Integration of sperm motility and chemotaxis screening with a microchannel-based device. Clin. Chem. 56, 1270–1278 (2010).
Chen, Y.-A. et al. Analysis of sperm concentration and motility in a microfluidic device. Microfluid Nanofluid 3, 561–570 (2007).
Lopez-Garcia, M.D. et al. Sperm motion in a microfluidic fertilization device. Biomed. Microdevices 10, 709–718 (2008).
Cho, C. et al. Haploinsufficiency of protamine-1 or -2 causes infertility in mice. Nat. Genet. 28, 82–86 (2001).
Farrell, P.B. et al. Motility and other characteristics of human sperm can be measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis of samples stained with Hoechst 33342. Fertil Steril 66, 446–453 (1996).
Sleigh, M. Cilia and Flagella. Academic, London (1974).
Jana, S. et al. Paramecium swimming in capillary tube. Phys. Fluids. 24, 041901 (2012).
Dryl, S. et al. Progress in the study of excitation and response in ciliates. Protoplasma 62, 255–284 (1966).
Fukui, K. et al. Spiral motion of Paramecium caudatum in a small capillary glass tube. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 23, 559–563 (1976).
Cho, C. et al. Analysis of mouse fertilin in wild-type and fertilin β-/- sperm: evidence of C-terminal modification, / dimerization, and lack of essential role of fertilin α in sperm-egg fusion. Dev. Biol. 222, 289–295 (2000).
Jessamine, M.K. et al. Components for integrated poly (dimethylsiloxane) microfluidic systems. Electrophoresis 23, 3461–3473 (2002).
Jana, S. et al. Cilia induced bending of paramecium in microchannels. The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications 155, 207–215 (2012).
Eddins, A. et al. Locomotion of paramecium in patterned environments. SESAPS. ID 109 (2011).
Jana, S. et al. Textured boundaries and their effects on ciliary locomotion. Bulletin of the American Physical Society 56, Y9.00008 (2011).
About this article
Cite this article
Um, S.H. Observation of a mouse sperm motility in a natural uterine tube-inspired microfluidic channel. BioChip J 7, 46–50 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13206-013-7107-x
- Bio-inspired engineering