Label-Free Microfluidic Impedance Cytometry for Acrosome Integrity Assessment of Boar Spermatozoa

Stella A. Kruit, Douwe S. de Bruijn, Marleen L.W.J. Broekhuijse, Wouter Olthuis, Loes I. Segerink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Microfluidics and lab-on-chip technologies have been used in a wide range of biomedical applications. They are known as versatile, rapid, and low-cost alternatives for expensive equipment and time-intensive processing. The veterinary industry and human fertility clinics could greatly benefit from label-free and standardized methods for semen analysis. We developed a tool to determine the acrosome integrity of spermatozoa using microfluidic impedance cytometry. Spermatozoa from boars were treated with the calcium ionophore A23187 to induce acrosome reaction. The magnitude, phase and opacity of individual treated and non-treated (control) spermatozoa were analyzed and compared to conventional staining for acrosome integrity. The results show that the opacity at 19 MHz over 0.5 MHz is associated with acrosome integrity with a cut-off threshold at 0.86 (sensitivity 98%, specificity 97%). In short, we have demonstrated that acrosome integrity can be determined using opacity, illustrating that microfluidic impedance cytometers have the potential to become a versatile and efficient alternative in semen analysis and for fertility treatments in the veterinary industry and human fertility clinics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number679
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Early online date25 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • acrosome integrity
  • microfluidic impedance cytometry
  • single cell analysis
  • spermatozoa


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