Selection of sperm cells with the MACS method

The ability to identify sperm cells which are suitable for fertilisation is of increasing importance in IVF treatments. In recent years, new techniques have been developed to select the sperm cells that have the greatest potential for a successful fertilisation procedure.

Magnetically-activated cell sorting (MACS) is very useful to isolate individuals from a group of cells. In the case of the Annexin V system, magnetic microspheres are coated with the protein Annexin V, which has a high binding capacity to a molecule found on the surface of decaying sperm cells (Phosphatidylserine). By applying the bound sperm cells to a fractionation column with a magnetic field, the decaying sperm cells are retained in the column, while the others are rinsed through. The purified group contains a reduced amount of DNA fragments and significantly fewer sperm cells showing early markers of cell death.

By using the purified sperm cells for an ICSI procedure, better embryo quality and increased chances of pregnancy and reduced chances of stillbirth can be achieved, according to current data. However, the positive effect of this procedure cannot be guaranteed.

Insemination

Under what circumstances is treatment with the MACS® ART Annexin V System advisable?

The treatment with the MACS® ART Annexin V System is suggested in the following instances:

  • Severely reduced sperm cell quality (especially teratozoospermia).
  • Elevated amounts of DNA fragmentation in the sperm cells (DFI>15%).
  • If in a previous treatment cycle the embryo development was significantly slowed.
  • If in a previous treatment cycle the embryo stopped developing during culture.
  • If in a previous cycle using the ICSI treatment fertilisation of the egg cells did not occur.
  • If 3 or more stillbirths occurred previously (abortus habitualis).

You can receive detailed information on the MACS method during a consultation with our team of doctors or directly at the office team of the Kinderwunschzentrum!

About the author