MEMS-Based Sperm Cell Sorting for Agricultural Breeding Programs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2012-00054
Agency Tracking Number: 2012-00054
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.3
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-003497
Small Business Information
OWL BIOMEDICAL
75 ROBIN HILL RD, Goleta, CA, 93117-3108
DUNS: 967423521
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Foster
 CEO
 (805) 452-0181
 john@owlbiomedical.com
Business Contact
 Jaquelin Spong
Title: Executive Director
Phone: (540) 358-0448
Email: jackie@owlbiomedical.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Agricultural breeding programs inevitably produce individuals on the non-desired gender, such as male calves on a dairy farm. These individuals are harvested or destroyed early on, to minimize the cost of supporting these animals. Nonetheless, they reduced the profitability and efficiency of these enterprises. This project would reduce or eliminate the production of undesired offspring by sorting male from female sperm prior to insemination. The technique uses a microfabricated cell sorter to separate the male from female gametes at very high speed, for the production of sperm straws for insemination that contain only the gamete of the desired gender. As a result, the production of only the desired sex is much more likely. The platform is inexpensive, fast, and easy to use. Furthermore, the device is inexpensive and easy to use, such that its deployment in rural settings and outside of large research labs, is quite feasible. By reducing the costs associated with the non-desired genders, the profitability and efficiency of meat and dairy production will be improved, and thus the project may profoundly impact agriculture in the US.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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