At the 2015 and 10th anniversary annual meeting of the Association of Biomedical Andrologists, Linkam have introduced a new solution for embryologists seeking a better solution for the evaluation and quantification of sperm. Live cell research and, specifically, the testing of sperm in clinics and hospitals, has not been well served in terms of reliable instrumentation and testing protocols.
Mr Stephen Harbottle is Chairman of the Association of Clinical Embryologists, Consultant Embryologist and Person Responsible at Cambridge IVF outlines the problem:
There is a real need for consistency of testing in andrology laboratories. At present, there is inconsistency with labs performing tests using non-validated or out of date procedures with limited regulation or control. Equipment is not standardised; it is not being calibrated and validated against reference systems or used in accordance with best practice recommendations in some test centres. Testing should be done to a validated standard operating procedure and labs performing tests should ensure they are registered to an appropriate external quality assurance scheme
Linkam's answer is the WS37 Warm Stage. The system provides easy calibration, has a low entry price and minimal running costs. Most important, it incorporates a simple and visual temperature validation using a specially developed liquid crystal temperature sensitive slide. The system has been designed with the user's needs clearly in mind. An alarm function adds to system confidence and improved workflow efficiency. Operation is via an interactive touchscreen module capable of controlling two plates simultaneously while data logging software will improve record keeping.
Describing the background to the development of the WS37 and how it will provide an innovative answer to a gap in the andrology market, Linkam's Duncan Stacey says “working closely with andrologists enabled our R&D team to understand the problem and develop an innovative, reliable and easy to use solution. The simple, visual, validation check makes it makes it easy to be confident the samples are at the correct temperature.”
To learn more about Linkam and their approach to the development of temperature stages to address multiple applications challenges, please visit www.linkam.co.uk.