Purpose: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) addresses male sub-fertility by injecting a spermatozoon into the oocyte. This challenging procedure requires the use of dual micromanipulators, with success influenced by inter-operator expertise. We hypothesized that minimizing oocyte handling during ICSI will simplify the procedure. To address this, we designed and fabricated a micrometer scale device that houses the oocyte and requires only one micromanipulator for microinjection. Methods: The device consisted of 2 components, each of sub-cubic millimeter volume: a Pod and a Garage. These were fabricated using 2-photon polymerization. Toxicity was evaluated by culturing single-mouse presumptive zygotes (PZs) to the blastocyst stage within a Pod, with several Pods (and embryos) docked in a Garage. The development was compared to standard culture. The level of DNA damage/repair in resultant blastocysts was quantified (γH2A.X immunohistochemistry). To demonstrate the capability to carry out ICSI within the device, PZs were microinjected with 4-μm fluorescent microspheres and cultured to the blastocyst stage. Finally, the device was assessed for oocyte traceability and high-throughput microinjection capabilities and compared to standard microinjection practice using key parameters (pipette setup, holding then injecting oocytes). Results: Compared to standard culture, embryo culture within Pods and a Garage showed no differences in development to the blastocyst stage or levels of DNA damage in resultant blastocysts. Furthermore, microinjection within our device removes the need for a holding pipette, improves traceability, and facilitates high-throughput microinjection. Conclusion: This novel device could improve embryo production following ICSI by simplifying the procedure and thus decreasing inter-operator variability.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions. KRD is supported by a Mid-Career Fellowship from the Hospital Research Foundation (C-MCF-58–2019). KD acknowledges funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant EP/P030017/1). This study was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CE140100003).
The authors acknowledge the RMIT Micro Nano Research Facility (MNRF) and access to the Nanoscribe for printing the Pods and Garages. They thank Dr. Zeyad Nasa for their assistance in printing the Pods and Garages. The authors thank Carl Campugan for his assistance with the immunohistochemistry, image processing, and analyses. The authors would also like to thank Darren Chow for his help with the experimental design and Dr. Megan Lim for reviewing the manuscript.
© 2022, The Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Developmental Biology