What is it about?

When people suffer from low sperm count and can not contribute to a child birth, fertilization in such case is usually done using artificial methods. But when extracting the sperm from the source cells directly, it often includes blood cells, which decreases the efficacy of artificial fertilization. This requires blood cells to be removed from the sample. Research has been done in the past to do this task using spiral channel microfluidic device, which makes the process faster, simpler, easier and cheaper. In this work, we optimized the device to result in an increased throughput while even improving its reliability.

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Why is it important?

Being able to process larger amount of fluid at higher flow rate through the device results in shorter run-time for the same sample, thus making the cell separation process much faster. Furthermore, this work can not only be applied to separating blood cells from sperm, but also to many other size-based particle separation like circulating tumor cells (CTCs), bacteria, and such.


I am grateful for the opportunity I had to work on this research with the two knowledgeable co-authors. Low sperm count and artificial insemination affects many people, especially in the third-world countries, because of the incurring labor and cost. I hope this work contributes towards making the process cheaper and more accessible.

Sabin Nepal
University of Utah

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Optimization of a microfluidic spiral channel used to separate sperm from blood cells, Biomicrofluidics, November 2020, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0029508.
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