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Magnetic-activated Cell Sorting (MACS)

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Magnetic-activated Cell Sorting (MACS)

Through a process called apoptosis, the body marks and subsequently destroys cells, including sperm, that are damaged or of inferior quality. Apoptotic sperm are potential culprits in embryonic arrest and early miscarriage and are marked by an externalised phosphatidylserine molecule. Through MACS, a method for separating certain types of cells from a larger cell population, such sperm can be detected and the problems they cause avoided altogether. This technique of cell-sorting does, however, require a semen sample with a relatively high proportion of motile sperm—a minimum of 10 million per millilitre.

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