Microfluidic spermatozoa selection for clinical applications

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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    Assistive Reproductive Technology (ART) and Artificial Insemination (AI) are universal and widely used all over the world. AI is generally performed in the veterinary industry, while ART is generally used to help couples with fertility problems conceive. The project is focused on the creating devices that can perform the extraction of sperm cells from biopsies for human infertility treatments and can characterize sperm cells based on their motility and chemotactic response.
    The samples that are obtained during a TESE contain a large amount of cells, of which only a very small fraction is sperm cells, as a complete tissue sample is taken. Finding these few spermatozoa is currently a time consuming manual process. The other cells are largely red blood cells and some supportive tissue cell types. The spermatozoa are separated from red blood cells in phase one, and from the other (larger) cell types in phase two.
    The second part of the project is focused on the characterization of the sperm cells. For the characterization, a simple model has been created to capture part of the motility characteristics of sperm cells, which could be validated by experimental data from a microfluidic device. Another chip was created to simplify the measurement of the chemotactic response of spermatozoa, which can be performed in a simple lab setting with a pipette and an incubator.
    Lastly, the effect of microfluidic handling on viability of the sperm cells has been studied and shown to be of similar influence as centrifugation, and cause less than the typical damages induced by flow cytometry.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Segerink, Loes Irene, Supervisor
    • Eijkel, Jan C.T., Co-Supervisor
    Award date20 Dec 2019
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-4905-9
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-4905-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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