Standard semen analysis provides information about sperm concentration, motility,… However, sperm DNA can be damaged by exposure to chemicals, smoking, high temperature, and other factors. Such sperm DNA fragmentation has been associated with decreased fertilization rate and miscarriages. The Halosperm test differentiates sperm with normal DNA from those with fragmented DNA. The process, Magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS), separates the various cell populations based on their surface antigens. This new test will be performed in the IVF lab headed by Efrat Shoenberger.
Professor Hananel Holzer, the Head of the IVF Unit at Shaare Zedek explains, “It is known that sperm cells with damaged DNA can lead to the development of a fetus that is not normal with an increased risk of miscarriage, and even affect the fertility. In order to lower the percentage of sperm cells with DNA breaks we mark them with microbeads which then undergo a screening special process. Through this process we hope to lower the percentage of cells with fragmentation and improve fertility treatments results.”
Prior to joining Shaare Zedek, Prof. Holzer was part of a research effort at McGill University in Montreal, Canada regarding Halosperm that was published in Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics.
To read more (in Hebrew) click HERE!