The FERTILE® Microfluidic Sperm Sorting Chip is a tool for identifying and harvesting sperm with superior morphology, low DNA fragmentation, and reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels.
The chip operates on the principle of microfluidics—or the study of the behaviour, control, and manipulation of fluids confined to spaces at the micro level, where they behave very differently than under typical macro conditions.
The Fertile® chip contains a series of internal microchannels, each with an input and output hole at either end. A sperm sorting solution is first introduced into the microchannel through the input hole, followed by an unaltered semen sample. Within the confines of this tiny space, the healthiest sperm are still able to migrate towards the outlet port, where they are collected, while compromised sperm are unable to migrate due to the shallow depth of the channel and remain there.
Patented by Harvard University Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the FERTILE® chip is designed specifically for use with ICSI. It is disposable and has no deleterious effect upon embryo culture, while it also speeds the sorting process and eschews the potentially harmful prep techniques found in some other forms of sorting.