Review Article

Microfluidic—based sperm sorting & analysis for treatment of male infertility

Raheel Samuel, Haidong Feng, Alex Jafek, Dillon Despain, Timothy Jenkins, Bruce Gale


Microfluidics technology has emerged as an enabling technology for different fields of medicine and life sciences. One such field is male infertility where microfluidic technologies are enabling optimization of sperm sample preparation and analysis. In this chapter we review how microfluidic technology has been used for sperm quantification, sperm quality analysis, and sperm manipulation and isolation with subsequent use of the purified sperm population for treatment of male infertility. As we discuss demonstrations of microfluidic sperm sorting/manipulation/analysis, we highlight systems that have demonstrated feasibility towards clinical adoption or have reached commercialization in the male infertility market. We then review microfluidic-based systems that facilitate non-invasive identification and sorting of viable sperm for in vitro fertilization. Finally, we explore commercialization challenges associated with microfluidic sperm sorting systems and provide suggestions and future directions to best overcome them.

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