Spermometer: electrical characterization of single boar sperm motility

We report on a microfluidic system that is able to spatially confine single boar sperm cells and allows noninvasive analysis of their motility on the single cell level.

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Volume 106, Issue 3, Pages 773-780

Authors:

Bjorn de Wagenaar, Ph.D., Daan J. Geijs, B.Sc., Hans de Boer, Johan G. Bomer, B.Eng., Wouter Olthuis, Ph.D., Albert van den Berg, Ph.D., Loes I. Segerink, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To study single sperm boar motility using electrical impedance measurements in a microfluidic system.

Design

Comparison of the optical data and electrical impedance data.

Setting

Research laboratory at a university.

Animal(s)

Boar semen sample were used.

Intervention(s)

A microfluidic system is developed that is able to spatially confine single boar sperm cells and allows noninvasive analysis of their motility on the single cell level. Using this system, the single sperm motility was affected by changing the temperature or adding chemical stimuli (caffeine). The retrieved electrical impedance and video data were processed using Matlab.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

The sperm beat frequency and amplitude determined from the electrical impedance and video data.

Result(s)

The electrically measured sperm beat frequency was verified by optical analysis and in correspondence. Furthermore the microfluidic platform allowed single sperm analysis by altering the sperm by temperature and chemical stimuli.

Conclusion(s)

This platform could be exploited as a potential tool to study sperm cells on the single cell level and to perform advanced sperm selection for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) applications.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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