What does magnetic cell sorting using annexin columns involve?
This is a sperm selection technique that uses magnets to separate sperm with markers of apoptosis (programmed cell death), from the ones that don’t, thus making it possible to improve success rates for couples when male factor infertility plays an important role. This technique is used:
- In samples with a high percentage of fragmented sperm DNA.
- When a couple has repeatedly had failed treatment cycles (artificial insemination and ICSI), for no apparent reason.
- In cases with poor embryo quality during previous treatment cycles when the cause cannot be attributed to the eggs.
Advantages of MACS
- This technique makes it possible to separate the damaged sperm from the part of the sample with higher potential to be used for different assisted reproduction techniques.
- The process is easy to carry out and allows the laboratory to discard spermatozoids with elevated sperm DNA fragmentation.
- It’s a non invasive technique performed on a sample provided by ejaculation and does not require any surgical intervention.
- No human factors influence the result, as the technique is performed using a magnetic process.
- The technique improves success rates.
Frequently asked questions about MACS
Several studies have demonstrated that use of the MACS technique improves embryo quality in cases where the sperm sample presents elevated fragmentation. Additionally, cycle success rates were improved by about 15%.
No, the MACS technique is not necessary for sperm samples which do not present elevated fragmentation.