The Micro Chip (Sperm Chip) – Op. Dr. Ufuk Yılmaz

The Micro Chip (Sperm Chip)

What is the Micro Chip method? Normally, for procedures such as IUI (Intrauterine Insemination), ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection), and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), sperm preparation is required. During preparation, the fluid part of semen is discarded, and efforts are made to obtain as many healthy sperm with good shape and movement as possible. The commonly used techniques today are swim-up and gradient separation methods.

The newly developed microfluidic chip technique (macrofluidic sperm sorter chip) relies on passing sperm through a filter with holes that can only accommodate healthy sperm with proper shape and good movement, and those with little to no DNA damage are collected in a separate chamber. This is done without any external intervention on the sperm, as they reach the collection chamber on their own strength. As a result, the sperm to be used in IVF or insemination are selected without undergoing trauma. In standard methods, after obtaining sperm, they are subjected to centrifugation. These processes can lead to the fragmentation of weak sperm, releasing certain enzymes into the environment, which can cause DNA damage in healthy sperm.

The Micro Chip method does not require centrifugation. This prevents an increase in ROS (reactive oxygen species) associated with centrifugation. It enables the selection of undamaged sperm in terms of ROS and DNA fragmentation.

The Micro Chip method, which closely mimics the natural sperm selection process, is designed based on the passage of sperm through cervical channels. As sperm pass through microchannels, the DNA quality and physiology of the best sperm are selected for ICSI.




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