The Fertile® chip is a tool for selecting high-quality sperm based upon criteria of superior morphology, low DNA fragmentation, and reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels.
Patented by Harvard University Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it expedites the sorting process and does away with the prep techniques used in other forms of sorting that can harm sperm irreversibly.
In the Fertile® procedure, an unaltered semen sample is introduced into the chip through an input hole that leads to an internal micro-channel. Here, healthy sperm are separated from the unhealthy based upon their distinctive behaviour within that channel—through a science termed microfluidics. The sorted sperm are then retrieved through an output hole located at the other end of the channel.
In addition to the superior health markers and comparatively higher rates of motility that come with sorting in general, sperm selected using the Fertile® chip demonstrate significantly higher velocities. Designed specifically for use with ICSI, the chip is disposable and has no negative effect upon embryo culture.