Fabrication on the microscale: a two-photon polymerized device for oocyte microinjection

Suliman H. Yagoub, Jeremy G. Thompson, Antony Orth, Kishan Dholakia, Brant C. Gibson, Kylie R. Dunning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) addresses male sub-fertility by injecting a spermatozoon into the oocyte. This challenging procedure requires the use of dual micromanipulators, with success influenced by inter-operator expertise. We hypothesized that minimizing oocyte handling during ICSI will simplify the procedure. To address this, we designed and fabricated a micrometer scale device that houses the oocyte and requires only one micromanipulator for microinjection. Methods: The device consisted of 2 components, each of sub-cubic millimeter volume: a Pod and a Garage. These were fabricated using 2-photon polymerization. Toxicity was evaluated by culturing single-mouse presumptive zygotes (PZs) to the blastocyst stage within a Pod, with several Pods (and embryos) docked in a Garage. The development was compared to standard culture. The level of DNA damage/repair in resultant blastocysts was quantified (γH2A.X immunohistochemistry). To demonstrate the capability to carry out ICSI within the device, PZs were microinjected with 4-μm fluorescent microspheres and cultured to the blastocyst stage. Finally, the device was assessed for oocyte traceability and high-throughput microinjection capabilities and compared to standard microinjection practice using key parameters (pipette setup, holding then injecting oocytes). Results: Compared to standard culture, embryo culture within Pods and a Garage showed no differences in development to the blastocyst stage or levels of DNA damage in resultant blastocysts. Furthermore, microinjection within our device removes the need for a holding pipette, improves traceability, and facilitates high-throughput microinjection. Conclusion: This novel device could improve embryo production following ICSI by simplifying the procedure and thus decreasing inter-operator variability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions. KRD is supported by a Mid-Career Fellowship from the Hospital Research Foundation (C-MCF-58–2019). KD acknowledges funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant EP/P030017/1). This study was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CE140100003).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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