MACS Sperm (Magnetic-Activated Sorting)
MACS is a technique, which allows the spermatozoa with the best characteristics to be selected for use in assisted reproduction treatments. This technique removes apoptotic spermatozoa those which will die without achieving fertilization, and selects the healthy ones, thus increasing the possibility of pregnancy.
The MACS technique consists of the use of tiny biodegradable magnetic particles that have an antibody attached (the protein annexin V) which is able to detect the spermatozoa that will die before fertilizing the ovum. The antibody fastens on to these, enabling them to be separated from the healthy spermatozoa.
Once the spheres with the annexin V attached have been added to the semen sample, this is passed through columns while being exposed to a weak magnetic field. The apoptotic spermatozoa will be retained on the column walls, while the healthy spermatozoa that have shown no evidence of cell death are drawn through the column by gravity. In this way, we can obtain healthy spermatozoa with the best physiological qualities for use in assisted reproduction treatments.