Efforts to improve the in vitro embryo production process in pigs have included modifying culture medium and number of spermatozoa inseminated in order to reduce the incidence of polyspermy. Polyspermy is a pathological condition which results in aberrant embryonic development. The microchannels are designed to more closely mimic the function of the oviduct and create a flow pattern of spermatozoa past the oocytes similar to the pattern in the oviduct. In vitro fertilization of porcine oocytes in the microchannels has produced a higher incidence of monospermic penetration (p < 0.05) as compared to the oocytes fertilized in the traditional microdrop system with comparable penetration and male pronucleus formation rates. Additionally, cleavage rates of the embryos as well as development to the blastocyst stage are similar. Here we demonstrate that the biomimetic microchannel in vitro fertilization system can reduce polyspermy and, therefore, increase the number of potentially viable embryos without reducing the overall in vitro production efficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering