Approximately one in six people worldwide is affected by infertility, according to the World Health Organization. With a 78% failure rate, each IVF cycle can be an emotional rollercoaster that often ends in heartbreak.
“While much work has been done around selecting eggs and embryos to boost the success rates of IVF, sperm selection, an essential component in assisted reproduction, is by far the most neglected step in regard to technological innovation,” he says.
Researchers from UTS and NeoGenix Biosciences, have created and tested a new microfluidic sperm selection device that provides a more reliable process for selecting high-quality sperm.
“This new technology is a 3D printed, biologically inspired microfluidic sperm selection device, which replicates the female reproductive tract and the natural sperm selection process, where only a small percentage of total sperm reach the egg,” Professor Warkiani said.
“We conducted extensive testing against conventional IVF selection methods, with the new method showing an 85% improvement in DNA integrity and an average 90% reduction in sperm cell death. The sperm selected by our method also demonstrated better recovery after freezing than traditional methods,” he said.
The researchers hope the device will provide help for those struggling with infertility and reduce the number of unsuccessful IVF cycles.
Steven A. Vasilescu, Lin Ding, Farin Yazdan Parast, Reza Nosrati, Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani. Sperm quality metrics were improved by a biomimetic microfluidic selection platform compared to swim-up methods. Microsystems & Nanoengineering, 2023; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41378-023-00501-7
University of Technology Sydney. “New technology to select healthier sperm for IVF success.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/04/230405214844.htm>.
Photo by Deon Black