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Developing methods to detect and remedy DNA damage in sperm

Aquilina, Marie Claire (2023) Developing methods to detect and remedy DNA damage in sperm. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.104258) (KAR id:104258)


Infertility affects millions of couples worldwide, with male-related factors playing a significant role. While basic semen analysis is a standard method for evaluating male infertility, advanced sperm testing can enhance its accuracy. To gain insights into urologists' perspectives on advanced semen analysis tests, a survey was conducted among urologists from different geographical regions. The survey revealed a consensus on clinically relevant parameters in basic semen analysis. Among the various advanced sperm tests offered by urologists, sperm DNA damage testing was the most common. Challenges such as lack of familiarity, test availability, and cost were cited as reasons for not offering advanced testing. Analyzing the underlying causes of increased sperm DNA damage is crucial for guiding patient treatment. Oxidative stress is recognized as a significant contributor to sperm DNA damage, and assessing oxidative stress levels provides valuable information. Seminal oxidative stress can be assessed by determining oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) or reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. High ORP and/or ROS levels were associated with poorer sperm parameters, and higher levels of sperm DNA damage. To address the need for cost-effective and readily available tests, an in-house flow cytometric sperm DNA damage testing service was validated. Data obtained from the validation of the acridine orange-based flow cytometric test (AOFT) demonstrated its reliability and consistency. Lifestyle modifications and innovative sperm preparation techniques, such as microfluidic-based sperm preparation, can help mitigate sperm DNA damage. Microfluidic devices enable the natural selection of sperm based on various parameters, and an investigative study has shown the microfluidic sperm separation device to produce comparable results to the gold standard method, density gradient centrifugation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Ellis, Peter J.I.
Thesis advisor: Griffin, Darren K.
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.104258
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 08:33 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2023 10:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Aquilina, Marie Claire.

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