Healthier sperm are normally selected for IVF using a centrifuge, which can damage the cells, but an alternative method can do the job gently by creating a current for them to swim against


3 February 2023

Human sperm

Separating the best swimmers from a sample of sperm can be important for IVF treatment


A simple device made from silicon and glass takes advantage of the natural behaviour of human sperm to separate healthy, swimming ones from defunct cells without harming them, which could boost the success of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

Isolating the most active sperm from a sample to use them for insemination is important for IVF, but current clinical separation methods using centrifuges can harm the delicate cells.

The success rate of such assisted reproductive techniques …

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