Rheotaxis-based microfluidic device for selecting sperm from samples infected with a virus

Gamete Biology

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VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4, P376-382, NOVEMBER 01, 2021


Afrouz Ataei, M.S., Md Alamgir Kabir, M.S., Andy W.C. Lau, Ph.D., Waseem Asghar, Ph.D. 



To investigate whether the presented rheotaxis-based microfluidic device could be used to separate spermatozoa from viruses (i.e., Zika) in the infected semen sample during the selection and washing process.


Quantitative and experimental study of the sperm washing/selection process through the microfluidic platform exploiting the positive rheotaxis of sperm.







Main Outcome Measure(s)

Human sperm were purchased from a sperm bank. The raw semen sample was mixed with viruses and loaded into a microfluidic device. Experiments were performed with 2 different flow rates (0 and 25 μL/minute) to investigate the washing efficiency of the device in the sperm selection process. The sperm sample was collected after 45 minutes and analyzed to check whether the collected sample is free of any infections (viruses) after isolation.


Fluorescent microscopy and quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based analysis showed that the sperm selected with the presented rheotaxis-based microfluidic device at the optimal flow rate (25 μL/minute) was free of any viruses.


We have developed a simple, cost-effective microfluidic device that mimics the conditions of the female genital tract while washing out the raw semen efficiently during the selection process for assisted reproductive technology.

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.