Microfluidics for sperm analysis and selection
Infertility is a growing global health issue with far-reaching socioeconomic implications. A downward trend in male fertility highlights the acute need for affordable and accessible diagnosis and treatment. Assisted reproductive technologies are effective in treating male infertility, but their success rate has plateaued at ˜33% per cycle. Many emerging opportunities exist for microfluidics — a mature technology in other biomedical areas — in male infertility diagnosis and treatment, and promising microfluidic approaches are under investigation for addressing male infertility. Microfluidic approaches can improve our fundamental understanding of sperm motion, and developments in microfluidic devices that use microfabrication and sperm behaviour can aid semen analysis and sperm selection. Many burgeoning possibilities exist for engineers, biologists, and clinicians to improve current practices for infertility diagnosis and treatment. The most promising avenues have the potential to improve medical practice, moving innovations from research laboratories to clinics and patients in the near future.