Birth control and family planning play pivotal roles in the economic growth and reduction of maternal, infant, and child mortality. Current contraceptives, such as hormonal agents and intrauterine devices, target only a small subset of reproductive processes and can have serious side effects on the health of women. To develop novel contraceptive agents, a scalable microfluidic device is established for analyzing and screening the effects of potential contraceptive agents on the maturation of the cumulus–oocyte complex. The microfluidic device performs on-chip incubation for studying oocyte maturation and cumulus expansion and isolates the microwells by oil–water interfaces to avoid crosstalk between the wells. A filter membrane is incorporated in the device to simplify incubation, medium exchange, washing, and fluorescence staining of oocytes. Cumulus expansion can be monitored directly in the device and oocyte maturation can be examined after enzymatic removal of cumulus cells and on-chip fluorescence staining. The performance of the device is evaluated by studying the influence of three drugs known to block oocyte maturation and/or cumulus expansion.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)