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A real-time single sperm tracking, laser trapping, and ratiometric fluorescent imaging system

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Sperm cells from a domestic dog were treated with oxacarbocyanine DiOC2(3), a ratiometrically-encoded membrane potential fluorescent probe in order to monitor the mitochondria stored in an individual sperm's midpiece. This dye normally emits a red fluorescence near 610 nm as well as a green fluorescence near 515 nm. The ratio of red to green fluorescence provides a substantially accurate and precise measurement of sperm midpiece membrane potential. A two-level computer system has been developed to quantify the motility and energetics of sperm using video rate tracking, automated laser trapping (done by the upper-level system) and fluorescent imaging (done by the lower-level system). The communication between these two systems is achieved by a networked gigabit TCP/IP cat5e crossover connection. This allows for the curvilinear velocity (VCL) and ratio of the red to green fluorescent images of individual sperm to be written to the hard drive at video rates. This two-level automatic system has increased experimental throughput over our previous single-level system (Mei et al., 2005) by an order of magnitude.

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