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      Microfluidic—based sperm sorting & analysis for treatment of male infertility


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          Microfluidics technology has emerged as an enabling technology for different fields of medicine and life sciences. One such field is male infertility where microfluidic technologies are enabling optimization of sperm sample preparation and analysis. In this chapter we review how microfluidic technology has been used for sperm quantification, sperm quality analysis, and sperm manipulation and isolation with subsequent use of the purified sperm population for treatment of male infertility. As we discuss demonstrations of microfluidic sperm sorting/manipulation/analysis, we highlight systems that have demonstrated feasibility towards clinical adoption or have reached commercialization in the male infertility market. We then review microfluidic-based systems that facilitate non-invasive identification and sorting of viable sperm for in vitro fertilization. Finally, we explore commercialization challenges associated with microfluidic sperm sorting systems and provide suggestions and future directions to best overcome them.

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          The upcoming 3D-printing revolution in microfluidics.

          In the last two decades, the vast majority of microfluidic systems have been built in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) by soft lithography, a technique based on PDMS micromolding. A long list of key PDMS properties have contributed to the success of soft lithography: PDMS is biocompatible, elastomeric, transparent, gas-permeable, water-impermeable, fairly inexpensive, copyright-free, and rapidly prototyped with high precision using simple procedures. However, the fabrication process typically involves substantial human labor, which tends to make PDMS devices difficult to disseminate outside of research labs, and the layered molding limits the 3D complexity of the devices that can be produced. 3D-printing has recently attracted attention as a way to fabricate microfluidic systems due to its automated, assembly-free 3D fabrication, rapidly decreasing costs, and fast-improving resolution and throughput. Resins with properties approaching those of PDMS are being developed. Here we review past and recent efforts in 3D-printing of microfluidic systems. We compare the salient features of PDMS molding with those of 3D-printing and we give an overview of the critical barriers that have prevented the adoption of 3D-printing by microfluidic developers, namely resolution, throughput, and resin biocompatibility. We also evaluate the various forces that are persuading researchers to abandon PDMS molding in favor of 3D-printing in growing numbers.
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            Fundamentals and applications of inertial microfluidics: a review.

            In the last decade, inertial microfluidics has attracted significant attention and a wide variety of channel designs that focus, concentrate and separate particles and fluids have been demonstrated. In contrast to conventional microfluidic technologies, where fluid inertia is negligible and flow remains almost within the Stokes flow region with very low Reynolds number (Re ≪ 1), inertial microfluidics works in the intermediate Reynolds number range (~1 < Re < ~100) between Stokes and turbulent regimes. In this intermediate range, both inertia and fluid viscosity are finite and bring about several intriguing effects that form the basis of inertial microfluidics including (i) inertial migration and (ii) secondary flow. Due to the superior features of high-throughput, simplicity, precise manipulation and low cost, inertial microfluidics is a very promising candidate for cellular sample processing, especially for samples with low abundant targets. In this review, we first discuss the fundamental kinematics of particles in microchannels to familiarise readers with the mechanisms and underlying physics in inertial microfluidic systems. We then present a comprehensive review of recent developments and key applications of inertial microfluidic systems according to their microchannel structures. Finally, we discuss the perspective of employing fluid inertia in microfluidics for particle manipulation. Due to the superior benefits of inertial microfluidics, this promising technology will still be an attractive topic in the near future, with more novel designs and further applications in biology, medicine and industry on the horizon.
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              Is Open Access

              Microfluidic Mixing: A Review

              The aim of microfluidic mixing is to achieve a thorough and rapid mixing of multiple samples in microscale devices. In such devices, sample mixing is essentially achieved by enhancing the diffusion effect between the different species flows. Broadly speaking, microfluidic mixing schemes can be categorized as either “active”, where an external energy force is applied to perturb the sample species, or “passive”, where the contact area and contact time of the species samples are increased through specially-designed microchannel configurations. Many mixers have been proposed to facilitate this task over the past 10 years. Accordingly, this paper commences by providing a high level overview of the field of microfluidic mixing devices before describing some of the more significant proposals for active and passive mixers.

                Author and article information

                Transl Androl Urol
                Transl Androl Urol
                Translational Andrology and Urology
                AME Publishing Company
                July 2018
                July 2018
                : 7
                : Suppl 3
                : S336-S347
                [1 ]Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Utah , Salt Lake City, Utah, USA;
                [2 ]Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah , Salt Lake City, Utah, USA;
                [3 ]Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University , Provo, Utah, USA
                Author notes

                Contributions: (I) Conception and design: R Samuel; (II) Administrative support: R Samuel, B Gale; (III) Provision of study material or patients: R Samuel, H Feng, A Jafek, D Despain; (IV) Collection and assembly of data: R Samuel, H Feng, A Jafek, D Despain; (V) Data analysis and interpretation: All authors; (VI) Manuscript writing: All authors; (VII) Final approval of manuscript: All authors.

                Correspondence to: Raheel Samuel. Department of Surgery, University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Email: raheel.samuel@ 123456hsc.utah.edu .
                2018 Translational Andrology and Urology. All rights reserved.
                : 28 December 2017
                : 07 May 2018
                Review Article

                microfluidics,sperm sorting and analysis,semen
                microfluidics, sperm sorting and analysis, semen


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