The andrology lab produces quality products and tools necessary for the success of animal stud programs and research laboratories. Regular tasks in the andrology lab include quality control testing of semen extenders and processing semen from collection to final product. The research scientists also analyze sperm cells for motility and morphology characteristics in order to develop new reproductive management tools, products and services. Additional research projects are aimed at improving fertility and new approaches to semen extender development. The andrology laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment, including the Spermvision CASA system offered through MOFAL GLOBAL and the Amnis ImageStream flow cytometer.
The Amnis ImageStream is one of the most advanced instruments used by the ICB. The Amnis is an imaging flow cytometer, meaning it combines the speed, sensitivity and phenotyping abilities of flow cytometry with the detailed imagery and functional insights of microscopes. This machine counts, sorts and identifies physical and chemical characteristics of cells or particles. Simultaneously, it acquires and saves an image of every cell or particle that flows through the machine. Having the physical and chemical characteristics of every cell, along with an image of the cell showing fluorescent signals, makes the data and analysis very robust. The Amnis is regularly used to evaluate the health of sperm cells for biological quality control testing, ongoing extender research and implications for improved fertility. This technology can also be used in studies on genetic improvement and preservation and other research at the cellular level. The Amnis is able to detect gram positive and gram negative bacteria load within a sample. This data can be used for future research in soil or milk bacteria, somatic cells or water samples.