Sperm Sorting Technologies | An Overview

    With the entry of women into public life and the world of work, many have postponed procreation until the latter part of their reproductive years. This has led to an increasing use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to help women conceive. These methods, which are cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive, are constantly being improved to improve the rate of successful conception.

    One such improvement is sperm sorting technology, which separates viable sperm from non-viable sperm. In some cases, personal or medical reasons are given for choosing sperm sex, for example to avoid an X-linked disease. the concerns and expectations of the infertile couple need to be factored into the equation when evaluating the effectiveness of each.

    This is a reason to reproduce the natural efficiency of fertilization while replacing the natural sperm selection that takes place in vivo with other methods. Otherwise, the chances of fertilization with defective sperm could be increased, which can lead to developmental disorders, pregnancy loss or even abnormal offspring. Considering that infertile men often have a high incidence of abnormal sperm morphology and function, including DNA fragmentation, the sperm sorting step is considered essential.

    Normal sperm morphology is defined as:

    Sperm concentration of 1.5 107 cells/mL,

    58% of live sperm 

    Progressive motility at 32% or total motility at 40% or more

    4% normal morphology

    Sperm pass through the female reproductive tract during natural fertilization and along with it join the egg to form an embryo. This automatically selects highly motile, actively swimming sperm. However, ART requires sperm selection technologies. Some of these are based on motility, maturity as shown by hyaluronic acid levels, detection of markers of apoptosis such as phosphatidylserine at high levels, normal morphology and sex.

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