Reproductive biomedicine online

Traceability of human sperm samples by direct tagging with polysilicon microbarcodes.

PMID 26096026


The increasing number of patients undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments and of cycles performed in fertility centres has led to some traceability errors. Although the incidence of mismatching errors is extremely low, any error is unacceptable, therefore different strategies have been developed to further minimize these errors, such as manual double-witnessing or electronic witnessing systems. More recently, our group developed a direct tagging method consisting of attaching microbarcodes directly to the zona pellucida of human oocytes/embryos. Here, this method is taken a step further by using these microbarcodes to tag human semen samples, demonstrating that the barcodes are not toxic and do not interfere in the selection of motile spermatozoa nor in the cryopreservation of the sperm samples. In addition, when this tagging system was applied to an animal model (rabbit), pregnancy rate and kitten viability were not affected.