It’s Now Possible to Isolate High-Quality Sperm: Read to Know-How

Male Fertility

The field of medicine is continuously evolving with the advent of new and better treatment modalities. Research and studies have paved the way for new discoveries that have added to the success rate of already existing procedures. IVF procedures too have been subjected to a lot of research, which has made them a highly successful alternative. Over the past 5 decades, there has been a significant rise in infertility rates and if we talk about the present, 1 out of 6 couples face fertility challenges and are unable to initiate their journey towards parenthood. Infertility refers to the inability to conceive a child, even after 1 whole year of unprotected sex. Ever since its introduction in the 1970s, in vitro fertilization, or IVF, has become a bridge, connecting hundreds and thousands of childless couples with their dreams of having a baby. The procedure has gained tremendous impetus globally. In India, IVF is now offered by all the leading Infertility centers, however, the fact that IVF cost in Noida is comparatively lower makes it one of the best to get the procedure done.

Experts from Zeeva, one of the leading Test Tube Baby Center in Noida, resort to the use of up to the minute modalities to ensure unparalleled IVF success rates. Being the leading pioneers in innovation and development, when it comes to various different types of infertility treatments, Zeeva has always thrived to help its patients in the best ways possible.

Male Fertility:

The misconception that infertility is primarily a female problem still exists in many societies. The top IVF specialists in Noida suggest that infertility is not a gender-specific problem and can affect both females, as well as males. Around 40 percent of the cases of infertility are attributed to male infertility. While there can be a plethora of reasons behind this, low sperm count, poor sperm quality, alleviated sperm morality, and abnormalities in sperm DNA, top the list. The quality of the sperm is usually determined in terms of sperm motility grading.

IVF involves the retraction of eggs and sperm from the female and male partner respectively and then allowing them to fertilize under suitable conditions, in a laboratory. While in vitro fertilization has been quite successful in helping couples struggling with infertility, the success rate of the same may vary depending upon the quality of the eggs and sperm used during the procedure. Research conducted by the scientists at Monash University in Australia has pointed towards the possibility of isolating good quality sperm from the semen sample using acoustic waves and fluid dynamics. The research has been carried out under the guidance of second-year doctoral student Junyang Gai, with supervision from Reza Nosrati and Professor Adrian Neild – both lecturers at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Monash University.

How was the procedure carried out?

The procedure involves the use of a microfluidic chip device that has been specially designed by the research team. During the research, the chip was loaded with raw semen sample collected from a bull and allowed to move through the channel, while acoustic waves were being applied at various frequencies. These caused healthier sperm to move towards the collection chamber, whereas those, with poor sperm integrity or lower quality, were left behind.

Importance of sperm isolation:

Sperm isolation is one of the most crucial steps, that determines the success rate of any IVF procedure. 1 mL of semen collected from a healthy fertile male, contains about 15 to 200 million sperm. Besides these numbers, sperm quality, morality, and DNA integrity too are taken into account. Once your semen sample is collected for IVF, the sperm are isolated from the ejaculate and nearly 50,000 to 100,000 sperms are used to fertilize the egg. As such, lower sperm concentration is likely to impact the fertilization rate.

In the case of intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a single isolated sperm is taken from the sample of good-quality sperms. This involves a number of steps, which include washing, centrifugation, and manual selection.

The role of Acoustic waves:

Acoustic waves are mechanical waves that occur when energy propagates through a medium, which can be solid, liquid, or even gas. Studies and research have shown that when an Acoustic field of 19.28 MHz and 1-2 W is applied on the semen sample at an angle of 30 degrees in the direction of its flow, the good quality sperm get separated from the mainstream sample. The sperm, so isolated, has been found to have significantly high motility of about 83 percent. Observations have clearly indicated towards 50 to 60 percent improvement in sperm motility. Though the procedure is new, it is quite fast, with a processing rate of 140 sperm per second, which is equivalent to 60,000 high-quality sperm in an hour. Though the technique has not been applied clinically yet, in a news release by Monash University Dr. Nosrati, said: “We hope that with further testing, our acoustofluidic sperm selection process can provide new opportunities and be of benefit to the assisted reproduction industry, and help remove the fear, anxiety and negative stereotypes associated with infertility”.

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