Alm-Kristiansen AH1,2, Dalen G3,4, Klinkenberg G5, Bekk L2, Thorkildsen LT2, Waterhouse KE2, Kommisrud E1,2.
The SpermVital® technology comprises embedding of spermatozoa within an alginate gel to facilitate release of sperm cells over a prolonged period in utero after AI. The aim of this study was to examine whether the survival time of spermatozoa is extended when applying this immobilization technology in combination with cryopreservation. Sperm cell survival (acrosome and plasma membrane integrity) was studied in vitro for 48 hr at physiological temperature. One dose of SpermVital® (SV) semen was compared with single doses of Biladyl® (B) processed semen as well as double doses of B (B double). B double was obtained by adding a second B dose the following day, thereby mimicking double AI. Furthermore, reproductive performance applying single early timed AI (TAI) with SV following oestrus synchronization was studied in a field trial. Double insemination (TAI on two consecutive days) with B semen served as control. Number of acrosome-intact live sperm cells decreased over time in vitro for all treatments (p < .05). There was no difference between SV sperm cell survival and B double after 24 hr (p > .05). However, after 48 hr, SV sperm cell survival was higher than B double (p < .05). Moreover, multivariate analysis showed that the outcome of single early TAI with SV was not significantly different from B double (p > .05). Likelihood of pregnancy and calving in the heifer group was higher than in the cow group (p < .05). These results imply that spermatozoa immoblized in alginate gel have prolonged survival.
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