Sperm Selection and Embryo Development: A Comparison of the Density Gradient Centrifugation and Microfluidic Chip Sperm Preparation Methods in Patients with Astheno-Teratozoospermia

Guler C., Melil S., Ozekici U., Donmez Cakil Y., SELAM B. , Cincik M.

LIFE-BASEL, vol.11, no.9, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/life11090933
  • Title of Journal : LIFE-BASEL
  • Keywords: male infertility, astheno-teratozoospermia, microchip, density gradient centrifugation, embryo, blastocyst, DNA-DAMAGE, INJECTION, SPERMATOZOA, ICSI, FRAGMENTATION, FERTILIZATION, PARAMETERS, SEPARATION, PREGNANCY


In recent years, microfluidic chip-based sperm sorting has emerged as an alternative tool to centrifugation-based conventional techniques for in vitro fertilization. This prospective study aims to compare the effects of density gradient centrifugation and microfluidic chip sperm preparation methods on embryo development in patient populations with astheno-teratozoospermia. In the study, the semen samples of the patients were divided into two groups for preparation with either the microfluidic or density gradient methods. Selected spermatozoa were then used to fertilize mature sibling oocytes and the semen parameters and embryo development on days 3 and 5 were assessed. While the density gradient group was associated with a higher sperm concentration, motility (progressive and total) was significantly higher in the microfluidic chip group. No significant differences were observed in the fertilization rates or grade 1 (G1) and grade 2 (G2) proportions of the third-day embryos. Furthermore, while the proportions of the poor, fair and good blastocysts on day 5 did not differ significantly, excellent blastocysts (indicating high-quality embryos) were observed in a significantly higher proportion of the microfluidic chip group. When compared to the classical density gradient method, the microfluidic chip sperm preparation yielded sperm with higher motility and higher quality blastocysts at day 5; in patients with astheno-teratozoospermia.