Memphasys is a reproductive biotechnology company driven by market needs to provide reproduction and fertility solutions for humans and animals alike. Products in the development pipeline include a range of devices, media, and in vitro diagnostic solutions.

The driving force for Memphasys is the belief and desire to research, develop and commercialise assisted reproductive systems and methods in humans and animals.

better technology, more life...

Product Pipeline - Summary

Other products in development include:

  • A long-term ambient temperature storage medium for human sperm.
  • A medium for human sperm isolation, fertilisation and cryopreservation.
  • A concept for the isolation of a small number of extremely high-quality sperm for human intracytoplasmic spermatozoa injection (ICSI) assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Product background

Memphasys originated as a company producing electrophoresis products and specialist polymer membranes for electrophoretic cell separation.

Using the Company’s original laboratory electrophoretic cell separation system, Professor John Aitken commenced his original investigation into separation of sperm from semen. Professor Aitken was looking for another method to improve the traditional laboratory methods for separating sperm, a process that is required for every IVF procedure.

Currently, the most common global method for separating sperm from semen in IVF clinics is the density gradient centrifugation (DGC) system.  In the DGC method, the density gradient selects morphologically normal sperm cells based on their specific density1-3. However, exposing sperm to several centrifugation steps during this procedure may damage sperm DNA. So dense sperm can still have poor DNA, even if they are progressively motile3-6. Moreover, the DGC method for sperm separation is labour intensive and can take up to 30–45 minutes to perform1-3.

In 2007, a pregnancy was achieved using a perm isolation technique that selected sperm on the basis of their size and charge rather than the traditional criteria of sperm density or motility7.  The CS10 device used in this formative clinical study was the technology that led to the development of the current Felix™ device.

The CS-10 method of electrophoretic sperm isolation was subsequently patented but multiple attempts to generate a commercial product were unsuccessful until Memphasys took over the development of this system in 2015. With their engineering partners, Hydrix, Memphasys has turned this general concept into a functional, practical instrument, the Felix™ device, that was successful in winning two Good Design Awards in 2020.

The Felix™ device separates sperm from raw semen by a proprietary process combining electrophoresis and size exclusion membranes that allow sperm into the harvest chamber while excluding cellular contaminants such as leukocytes and precursor germ cells.

1. Muratori M, Tarozzi N, Cambi M, Boni L, Iorio AL, Passaro C, et al. Variation of DNA Fragmentation Levels During Density Gradient Sperm Selection for Assisted Reproduction Techniques: A Possible New Male Predictive Parameter of Pregnancy? Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(20):e3624.

2. Pinto S, Carrageta DF, Alves MG, Rocha A, Agarwal A, Barros A, et al. Sperm selection strategies and their impact on assisted reproductive technology outcomes. Andrologia. 2021;53(2):e13725.

3. Raad G, Bakos HW, Bazzi M, Mourad Y, Fakih F, Shayya S, et al. Differential impact of four sperm preparation techniques on sperm motility, morphology, DNA fragmentation, acrosome status, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial activity: A prospective study. Andrology. 2021;9(5):1549-59.

4. Morrell JM, Rodriguez-Martinez H. Practical applications of sperm selection techniques as a tool for improving reproductive efficiency. Vet Med Int. 2010;2011.

5. Ghaleno LR, Valojerdi MR, Janzamin E, Chehrazi M, Sharbatoghli M, Yazdi RS. Evaluation of conventional semen parameters, intracellular reactive oxygen species, DNA fragmentation and dysfunction of mitochondrial membrane potential after semen preparation techniques: a flow cytometric study. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2014;289(1):173-80.

6. Matson PL, Myssonski K, Yovich S, Morrison L, Irving J, Bakos HW. The density of human semen and the validation of weight as an indicator of volume: a multicentre study. Reprod Biol. 2010;10(2):141-53.

7. Ainsworth C, Nixon B, Jansen RP, Aitken RJ. First recorded pregnancy and normal birth after ICSI using electrophoretically isolated sperm. Hum Reprod. 2007;22(1):197-200.