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Reprod Domest Anim. 2009 Jun;44(3):390-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01081.x. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

In vitro fertilizing capacity of frozen-thawed bull spermatozoa selected by single-layer (glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane) silane-coated silica colloidal centrifugation.

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  • 1Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium.


Barriers to the use of density gradient centrifugation for preparing animal spermatozoa for artificial insemination (AI) include the scarcity of animal-specific formulations and the daunting prospect of processing large volumes of ejaculate in small aliquots (1.5 ml extended semen). Recently, new colloid formulations have been tested in vitro in a modified procedure, centrifugation on a single layer of colloid. The present study investigated the fertilizing ability during in vitro fertilization (IVF) of frozen-thawed bovine spermatozoa following centrifugation through a single layer of glycerolpropylsilane (GS)-coated silica colloid with a species-specific formulation (patent applied for; treatment, T). Controls (C) included centrifugation through gradients of either the same colloid (C1) or Percoll (C2). Sperm recovery surpassed 50% for both C1-C2 and T (n.s.). Mean values of various parameters of computerized analysis of sperm motility did not differ between T and C1 (n.s.), and only the proportions of path straightness and linearity were lower in T vs C2 (p < 0.05). In T, the mean (+/-SD) percentages of fertilization rate, blastocyst development rate and the total number of blastomeres were 58.1 +/- 23.3%, 24.5 +/- 14.3% and 94.6 +/- 23.4%, respectively. The proportions did not differ significantly from controls (C1/C2). Therefore, centrifugation through a single layer of colloid offers an alternative method to density gradient centrifugation for selection of viable, potentially fertile frozen-thawed bull spermatozoa. This single-layer technique is gentle, versatile and convenient because it facilitates scaling-up the process of sperm preparation to allow larger numbers of spermatozoa (for instance, whole ejaculates) to be processed for AI.

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