Posted by Rosa from INIAResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

This device for the selection of sperm with the best migratory capacity is based on the property of mammalian sperm (including humans) to migrate in a temperature gradient (thermotaxis) in order to select the only spermatozoa that can get to fertilize the oocyte in vivo. It overcomes all the significant disadvantages that current equipments have, allowing the separation of multiple samples into single, disposable units. In addition it can be manufactured on production lines and its use and the processing of samples is very easy, not requiring qualified personnel.


Description of the technology

Currently, the efficiency of assisted reproduction techniques in terms of producing good quality embryos is relatively low, which translates into low implantation rates of embryos produced in vitro after transfer to the recipient female. It is widely accepted that one of the factors that prevents improving this efficiency is the lack of a selection procedure for those spermatozoa whose physiological and molecular status is adequate to ensure correct embryonic development. Therefore, a high-quality sperm separation for use in assisted reproduction techniques, both animal and human, can have a great economic and social impact.

For this reason, the research group of Molecular Embryology in the Department of Animal Reproduction of INIA has developed a device for the selection of sperm with the best migratory capacity, based on the property of mammalian sperm (including humans) to migrate in a temperature gradient, being these the only sperm that in vivo can get to fertilize the oocyte.

It is a device can easily be manufactured on a large scale due to its design, with a disposable selection unit made of a flexible and biodegradable material with a central capillary zone that avoids convection processes during thermotaxis selection and avoids an accidental mixing between both compartments while keeping both compartments closed, representing a great ease of handling compared to other known devices.

Current development status

Laboratory prototypes

Intellectual property status

Technology Owner


Public Agency

Related keywords

  • Applications for Health
  • Measurement devices
  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Medical Research
  • Medical Technology / Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Technology
  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Animal Production / Husbandry
  • Measurements and Standards
  • Measurement Tools
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Social and Economics concerns
  • Medical/health
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Medical Health related
  • Other Medical/Health Related
  • embriology

About INIA

Public Agency from Spain

INIA is an Spanish Public Research Organization responsible for the management and coordination of Agrifood Research at national level and for the execution of research projects, always in close collaboration with the relevant socioeconomic sectors.

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