Isolation of Motile Spermatozoa with a Microfluidic Chip Having a Surface-Modified Microchannel

Hong Yuan Huang, Tsung Lin Wu, Hung Ru Huang, Chin Jung Li, Hui Ting Fu, Yung Kuei Soong, Ming Yih Lee, Da Jeng Yao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

25 Scopus citations


Conventional methods to prepare sperm have been amenable to the investigation of outcomes such as rates of recovery and conventional semen parameters. The standard preparation of sperm for assisted reproduction is criticized for its centrifugation steps, which might either recover motile sperm in variable proportions or increase the probability of damage to sperm DNA. An microfluidic system was designed to separate motile sperm according to a design whereby nonmotile spermatozoa and debris flow along their initial streamlines and exit through one outlet-up, whereas motile spermatozoa have an opportunity to swim into a parallel stream and to exit through a separate outlet-down. This chip was fabricated by microelectromechanical systems technology with polydimethylsiloxane molding. The hydrophilic surface, coated with poly (ethanediol) methyl ether methacrylate, exhibits enduring stability maintained for the microchannel. Microscopic examination and fluorescent images showed that the motility of sperm varied with the laminar streams. To confirm the sorting, we identified and quantified the proportions of live and dead sperm before and after sorting with flow cytometric analysis. The results on the viability of a sample demonstrated the increased quality of sperm after sorting and collection in the outlet reservoir. The counted ratio of live sperm revealed the quantity and efficiency of the sorted sperm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Laboratory Automation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 02 2014


  • laminar flow
  • microchannel
  • microfluidic chip
  • motile sperm sorting


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