A new insight into male fertility preservation for patients with completely immotile spermatozoa
Cryopreservation of few spermatozoa is still a major challenge for male fertility preservation. This study reports use a new micro-straw (LSL straw) for freezing few spermatozoa for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Semen samples from 22 fertile donors were collected, and each semen sample was diluted and mixed with cryoprotectant in a ratio of 1:1, and then frozen using three different straws such as LSL straw (50-100 μl), traditional 0.25 ml and 0.5 ml straws. For freezing, all straws were fumigated with liquid nitrogen, with temperature directly reducing to -130--140°C. Sperm concentration, progressive motility, morphology, acrosome integrity, and DNA fragmentation index were evaluated before and after freezing. After freezing-thawing, LSL straw group had significantly higher percentage of sperm motility than traditional 0.25 ml and 0.5 ml straw groups (38.5% vs 27.4% and 25.6%, P < 0.003). Sperm motility and acrosomal integrity after freezing-thawing were significantly lower than that of before freezing. However, there was no significant difference in morphology, acrosome, and DNA integrity between the three types of straws (P > 0.05). As LSL straws were thinner and hold very small volume, the freezing rate of LSL straw was obviously faster than 0.25 ml straw and 0.5 ml straws. In conclusion, LSL micro-straws may be useful to store few motile spermatozoa with good recovery of motility for patients undergoing ICSI treatment.