New microscopic technology 'could aid selection of best sperm cells'

14 January 2016

Fertility procedures could be enhanced by the development of new microscopic technology that can be used to help select the best and most viable sperm cells.

Developed by Tel Aviv University, the device allows scientists to perform clinical sperm analysis without the use of staining, which can affect the viability of samples.

It involves attaching a small and cost-effective black box to an existing microscope, with automated software producing a thickness map of the sample and other physical parameters to evaluate the sperm's viability in real time.

Prior to this, clinicians have generally chosen the best sperm according to their speed, despite the fact that speed is not necessarily an indicator of DNA quality. This new process would allow the full structure and composition of the sperm to be determined.

Dr Natan Shaked of the department of biomedical engineering at Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Engineering said: "Success means more births without congenital defects. In cases where sample staining is impossible - such as in vitro fertilisation and ICSI - our device provides a promising new direction."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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