Enhancing Insemination Performance in Pigs Through Controlled Release of Encapsulated Spermatozoa


Author’s address (for correspondence): M Faustini, Department of Veterinary Science and Public Health, University of Milan, Via G Celoria, 10, 20134, Milan, Italy. E-mail: massimo.faustini@unimi.it


Encapsulation of boar semen is a novel technique that allows insemination to be performed as a single intervention without the need to dilute the semen. The research reviewed in this paper shows that spermatozoa encapsulated in alginate are able to achieve the same fertility as two or three inseminations per oestrus using standard techniques and unencapsulated cells. The use of encapsulated spermatozoa is currently limited by the need for longer semen processing time and wastage of disposable material (catheters, plastic bottles, etc.). In this review, the advantages, the drawbacks and the future possibilities for artificial insemination with encapsulated spermatozoa in the sow are discussed, with the aim of applying this promising new methodology for the optimization of sow reproductive performance.