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Sperm processing

Sperm processing in the laboratory

General remarks

  • spermaverwerking laboratoriumClean and hygienical working in a laboratory is very important.
  • Raw, undiluted semen is very sensitive to temperature changes.
  • Spermatozoa are fragile, easily damaged and short lived. They are susceptible to cold-shock, direct sunlight, many antibiotics and low levels of residues that may be left on the liners of artificial vaginas, glassware and other receptacles with which the semen may come in contact..
  •  It is important to keep the semen on room temperature once the semen is diluted, to keep the energy low in semen during processing.

Extenders and centrifugation

  • You can centrifuge on a higher G-value using a "cushion". Unless you wanted to work without a "cushion", it is advisable not to centrifuge faster than 600g. (G-force, which is not the same as rpm!)
  • If you centrifuged the semen too fast and to long, the semen can be hyperactive. Than the progressive motility is better, but this can also promote the acrosome reaction.
  • EquiPure and SSS are media for the purification and separation of spermatozoa. As a result, bacteria, leukocytes and sperm of lower quality are centrifuged out of the semen and then you get a pallet with in general better quality of spermatozoa.


  • It needs multiple sperm cells to cope against the pressure of the egg. It is important that of stallions with morphological abnormalities such as head cap problems, the appropriate doses are not too low.
  • Spermatozoa need a residence time in the female reproductive area to grow into its capacitation. Capacitation is the ability to obtain a sperm fertilizing capacity.
  • After capacitation the group of semencells continues swimming to the ovulating follicle and by proteins from both the follicle and the sperm a sperm can  "stick”  to undergo an acrosome reaction before the sperm cell can penetrate the wall of the follicle to undergo fertilization. This process takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Acrosome reaction is a fusion of the membranes of the sperm head, which releases enzymes, necessary to penetrate the outer wall of the egg.