Design and Microfabrication of An On-Chip Oocyte Maturation System for Reduction of Apoptosis

Document Type : Original Article


1 .Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 .Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

3 .Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 4.Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 5.Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


In customary assisted reproductive technology (ART), oocyte culture occurs in static micro drops of Petri dishes with vast media volume; while, the in vivo condition is dynamic. In this study, we aimed to improve the maturation efficiency of mammalian oocytes by designing an optimal microchamber array to obtain the integration of oocyte trapping and maturation within a microfluidic device and evaluate the role of microfluidic culture condition in lipid peroxidation level of the culture medium, in vitro matured oocytes apoptosis, and its comparison with the conventional static system. Materials and Methods: In this experimental research, immature oocytes were collected from ovaries of the Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice. Oocytes were randomly laid in static and dynamic (passive < active)in vitro maturation culture medium for 24 hours. The lipid peroxidation level in oocyte culture media was assessed by measuring the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), and the rate of apoptosis in in vitro matured oocytes was assessed by the TUNEL assay after a-24 hour maturation period. Results: The MDA concentration in both dynamic oocyte maturation media were significantly lower than the static medium (0.003 and 0.002 vs. 0.13 µmol/L, P < 0.01). Moreover, the rate of apoptosis in matured oocytes after a-24 hour maturation period was significantly lower in passive dynamic and active dynamic groups compared with the static group (16%, 15% vs. 35%, P < 0.01). Conclusion: The dynamic culture for in vitro oocyte maturation (IVM) improves the viability of IVM oocytes in comparison with the static culture condition.