Morphological assessment of spermatozoa is of critical importance for in vitro fertilization (IVF), especially intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)-based IVF. In ICSI, a single sperm cell is selected and injected into an egg to achieve fertilization. The quality of the sperm cell is found to be highly correlated to IVF success. Sperm morphology, such as shape, head birefringence and motility, among others, are typically evaluated under a microscope. Current observation relies on conventional techniques such as differential interference contrast microscopy and polarized light microscopy. Their qualitative nature, however, limits the ability to provide accurate quantitative analysis.
Here, we demonstrate quantitative morphological measurement of sperm cells using two types of spectral interferometric techniques, namely spectral modulation interferometry and spectral multiplexing interferometry. Both are based on spectral-domain low coherence interferometry, which is known for its exquisite phase determination ability. While spectral modulation interferometry encodes sample phase in a single spectrum, spectral multiplexing interferometry does so for sample birefringence. Therefore they are capable of highly sensitive phase and birefringence imaging. These features suit well in the imaging of live sperm cells, which are small, dynamic objects with only low to moderate levels of phase and birefringence contrast. We will introduce the operation of both techniques and demonstrate their application to measuring the phase and birefringence morphology of sperm cells.
Yizheng Zhu and Chengshuai Li, "Spectral interferometry for morphological imaging in in vitro fertilization (IVF)
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9718, Quantitative Phase Imaging II, 97180J (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213070.4848767811001.
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