Lab-on-a-chip biophotonics: its application to assisted reproductive technologies

Authors

  • David Lai,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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  • Gary D. Smith,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
    2. Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
    3. Department of Molecular and Integrated Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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  • Shuichi Takayama

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
    2. Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
    3. Division of Nano-Bio and Chemical Engineering WCU Project, UNIST, Ulsan, Republic of Korea
    • Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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Abstract

With the benefits of automation, sensitivity and precision, microfluidics has enabled complex and otherwise tedious experiments. Lately, lab-on-a-chip (LOC) has proven to be a useful tool for enhancing non-invasive assisted reproductive technology (ART). Non-invasive gamete and embryo assessment has largely been through periodic morpohological assessment using optical microscopy and early LOC ART was the same. As we realize that morphological assessment is a poor indication of gamete or embryo health, more advanced biophotonics has emerged in LOC ART to assay for metabolites or gamete separation via optoelectrical tweezers. Off-chip, even more advanced biophotonics with broad spectrum analysis of metabolites and secretomes has been developed that show even higher accuracy to predicting reproductive potential. The integration of broad spectrum metabolite analysis into LOC ART is an exciting future that merges automation and sensitivity with the already highly accurate and strong predictive power of biophotonics. (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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