MEPRO: Innovative Microfluidic Technology to improve Infertility Research

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  • Mar 26, 2024
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
MEPRO: Innovative Microfluidic Technology to improve Infertility Research


After 50 years, finally a new form of semen analysis? Innovative microfluidic technology helps improve future research into infertility. 

With at least 50 million couples worldwide facing infertility, the declining quality of sperm due to environmental and genetic factors is a growing concern. MEPRO seeks to address this by offering a more accurate and reliable method for sperm analysisselection. In collaboration with Micronit and other MIH Partners, is MEPRO is developing a new way to select the best sperm to increase the chance of successful fertilization.

Despite 50 years of progress in Assisted Reproduction Treatments (ART), there isn’t much improvement in success rates. The seminogram, which is based on morphological and physiological parameters, has its limitations. Research shows that 20 to 30% of men with 'normal' seminogram results still have reduced fertility [1]. Plus, these tests are slow, complicated, and often expensive. There is a growing need for more advanced functional tests and new diagnostic/selection technologies.

The good news is that microfluidic technology can open new doors. MEPRO is developing a “Spermsort technology” that is more sensitive and reliable than conventional analysis methods. MEPRO does this with the help of Micronit and other MIH Partners. This innovative approach uses a lab-on-chip system to pinpoint high-quality sperm for in-vitro fertilization. By filtering out sperm with the CD10 biomarker—linked to low viability—we've seen pregnancy rates rise by up to 38%. 

 

About MEPRO and MIH

MEPRO is a start-up based in Spain. Their goal is to find solutions for improving the success of assisted reproduction treatments. They achieve this by developing different kits and medical devices for patients with infertility problems. Their aim is to enhance sperm selection procedures by crafting personalized solutions. "The Open Call from the Microfluidic Innovation Hub (MIH) gave us the opportunity to access a wide range of expertise that we would not otherwise have been able to obtain. The partners in the project (BRFAA, Tecnalia, Inmold, and Micronit) and the MIH have given us the opportunity to work on these specific technological challenges. We are nearly in the end of the project, and I am very pleased and optimistic, knowing that the people involved in the project are not just interested, but are truly committed to finding a solution," says Dr. Nerea Subiran, Founder and CEO of MEPRO. 

Want to know more about this project? Just get in touch via our contact page or download the full case study on the website of MIH.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562258/

 

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