Flow cytometry for the assessment of animal sperm integrity and functionality: State of the art

Md Sharoare Hossain, Anders Johannisson, Margareta Wallgren, Szabolcs Nagy, Amanda Pimenta Siqueira, Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

72 Citations (Scopus)


Flow cytometry is now a recognized methodology within animal spermatology, and has moved from being a research tool to become routine in the assessment of animal semen destined to breeding. The availability of bench-top flow cytometers and of newer and versatile markers for cell structure and function had allowed the instrumentation to measure more sperm parameters, from viability to reactiveness when exposed to exogenous stimuli, and to increase our capabilities to sort spermatozoa for potential fertilizing capacity, or chromosomal sex. The present review summarizes the state of the art regarding flow cytometry applied to animal andrology, albeit keeping an open comparative intent. It critically evaluates the present and future capabilities of flow cytometry for the diagnostics of potential fertility and for the development of current reproductive technologies such as sperm freezing, sperm selection and sperm sorting. The flow cytometry methods will probably further revolutionize our understanding of the sperm physiology and their functionality, and will undoubtedly extend its application in isolating many uncharacterized features of spermatozoa. However, continuous follow-up of the methods is a necessity owing to technical developments and the complexity of mapping spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-419
Number of pages14
JournalAsian Journal of Andrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2011



  • animals
  • fertility
  • flow cytometry
  • semen analysis
  • sperm functionality
  • sperm intactness
  • spermatozoa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Cite this

Hossain, M. S., Johannisson, A., Wallgren, M., Nagy, S., Siqueira, A. P., & Rodriguez-Martinez, H. (2011). Flow cytometry for the assessment of animal sperm integrity and functionality: State of the art. Asian Journal of Andrology, 13(3), 406-419. https://doi.org/10.1038/aja.2011.15