Medycyna Wet. 67 (8), 522-526, 2011
Kempisty B., Walczak R., Szczepańska P., Woźna M., Jackowska M., Bukowska D., Antosik P., Dziuban J., Jaśkowski J.M
Microfluidic chip system model (Lab-on-chip) in research on quality of mammalian oocytes and embryos
The developmental competence of oocytes and embryos is one of the basic factors in determining whether the oocytes will be able to grow and mature and whether the embryos will be able to develop in the preimplantation stage and implant properly. There are several methods of evaluating the developmental competence of oocytes and embryos. The most frequently used include the oocyte maturity test using brilliant cresyl blue (BCB), and molecular analyses, such as genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. The Lab-on-Chip (LOC) system is a microcytometer that analyzes the spectrum of light absorption. The analysis of oocyte and embryo competence with this system concerns the thickness and color of the zona pellucida, as well as the color and granularity of the cytoplasm. The microfluidic chip includes two micro fibers and two channels: one leading in and one leading out. The total measuring system comprises a docking station with a chip, micro-spectrophotometer, and laptop. The system can therefore be used under non-laboratory conditions. Analysis with this system is a new and noninvasive method of bovine and porcine oocyte and embryo quality assessment, and may in the future be one of the main tools used in evaluating the developmental competence of these cells. This article presents the possible function and use of a system based on the microfluidic technology. Moreover, the construction and applications of the LOC are discussed, including the possibilities of LOC application in analyses of the developmental competence of bovine and porcine oocytes and embryos.
Keywords: microfluidic chip system, oocyte and embryo quality, lab-on-chip