Development of a Standardized Artificial Inseminator for Endangered Live-Bearing Fishes
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Development of a Standardized Artificial Inseminator for Endangered Live-Bearing Fishes

  • 2020

Filetype[PDF-833.43 KB]


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    Small-bodied live-bearing fish, also known as viviparous fish, are important to the overall diversity of fish species along with many areas of biological research. As endangered species, these fish are currently among the most at-risk groups in the world. It is of paramount importance to preserve the genomes of these endangered species in the case that their diversity is needed in the future. Sperm cryopreservatio​n and captive breeding are two important methods to preserve genetic diversity of imperiled animals. To achieve these conservation approaches, artificial insemination is a core technology. The current method for artificial insemination of female viviparous fish is mouth-​pipetting. This technique can be done by experienced researchers who are trained extensively, but the results can be unpredictable from an unexperienced user. This method lacks a standardized control of volume and pressure of the sperm sample injected into the female, because it is highly dependent on the air pressure exerted from mouths of individual operators. To address the low reliability issue of mouth-​pipetting, the goal of this research is to design, develop, and test a device that controls volume and flow rate of sperm through mechanical and electrical components accurately and with low variation. A handheld device was fabricated with electronic components such as a linear actuator and an Arduino microcontroller that displace small volumes of liquids consistently. The device also contains mechanical components that facilitate fluid flow, including a capillary adapter, air displacement tube, metal rod, and O-ring. This system controls fluid flow through air displacement in a 3D-printed tube. The pressure produced by the fluid flow from the electronically controlled device showed less than 1% variation, which is significantly smaller than the variation seen from mouth-pipetting evaluation.

    transparent The goal of this project was to develop a standardized inseminator device to assist artificial insemination of small-bodied live-bearing fish. The objectives of this project were to: 1) design and fabricate inseminator prototype devices, 2) develop standardized in vitro and in vivo methods to evaluate physical and biological performance of conventional and proposed inseminators, and 3) test physical and biological performance of the most promising prototypes in vitro and in vivo. This device would house a linear actuator that would drive fluid motion accurately. The entire device would be small enough to fit in the user’s hand to ease the artificial insemination process

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