ICRA 2011 Paper Abstract


Paper WeA102.3

Lu, Zhe (University of Toronto), Zhang, Xuping (University of Toronto), Leung, Clement (University of Toronto), Esfandiari, Navid (University of Toronto), Casper, Robert (University of Toronto), Sun, Yu (University of Toronto)

Automated Cell Manipulation: Robotic ICSI

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Sessions "Agent-Based Systems II" (WeA102), Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 08:50−09:05, Room 3C

2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 9-13, 2011, Shanghai International Conference Center, Shanghai, China

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 5, 2020

Keywords Automation in Life Sciences: Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Health Care, Micro and Nanoscale Automation, Computer Vision for Robotics and Automation


This paper is the first report of robotic ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). ICSI is a clinical procedure performed worldwide in fertility clinics, requiring pick-up of a single sperm and insert it into oocyte (i.e., an egg cell). Since its invention 20 years ago, ICSI has been conducted manually by a handful of highly skilled embryologists; however, success rates vary significantly among clinics due to poor reproducibility and inconsistency across operators. We leverage our work in robotic cell injection to realize robotic ICSI and aim ultimately, to standardize how clinical ICSI is performed. This paper presents some of the technical aspects of our robotic ICSI system, including a cell holding device and motion control and computer vision algorithms. The system performs visual tracking of single sperm, robotic immobilization of sperm, aspiration of sperm with pico-liter volume, and insertion of sperm into an oocyte with a high degree of reproducibility. The system requires minimal human involvement (requiring only a few computer mouse clicking), and is human operator skill independent. Using the hamster oocyte-human sperm model in preliminary trials, the robotic system demonstrated a high success rate of 90.0% and survival rate of 90.7% (n=120).



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