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Rapid - Objective - Standardized Semen Analysis Solutions... Remember, it ALL Started with a Sperm!

RSS  Medical Electronic Systems Service and Support Updates

Technical Release Bulletin: Fixed Coverslip Slides Sperm/Bead Counting Principles

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Segre Silberberg Effect
Capillary flow into a 20-micron counting chamber (fixed coverslip type) follows a classical Poiseuille flow. The flow of the fluid is dominated by its viscosity. A maximum velocity is reached at exactly half the depth of the chamber while the velocity at the chamber walls equals 0 micron/second. The sperm cells or beads (further – “particles” for simplicity) in the middle of the chamber height move faster than the ones near the wall. It has been shown that during chamber filling all particles move to two planes at equidistance from each chamber wall with velocity gradient. The distance of these planes from the wall depends on several parameters:

• Development of full Poiseuille flow
• Chamber height
• Surface properties of the counting chamber
• Surface tension
• Fluid viscosity
• Flow velocity
• Particle diameter

Because particles in the two Segre Silberberg planes move faster than the average fluid velocity, there is an accumulation of them at the filling front that impacts their distribution throughout the chamber volume. As sample viscosity is not a constant parameter for semen and beads (semen is much more viscous as compared to beads spread in a water-based media), it impacts their distribution in a fixed coverslip chamber. Correspondingly concentration of the sperm and beads cannot be accurately counted under the SAME conditions. In fact, semen viscosity prevents the even spread of spermatozoa throughout the fixed coverslip volume resulting in accumulation at the filling point, whereas the water-based suspension of beads is loaded faster with minimal accumulation at the filling point.

Counting Sperm
In order to insure accurate manual counting of SPERMATOZOA using a fixed coverslip chamber in the SQA-V or SQA-Vision visualization compartment, the assessment should be performed at ZOOM-OUT (low magnification and wide field of view) which will compensate for the impact of semen viscosity.

Counting Beads
For accurate manual counting of BEADS using a fixed coverslip chamber in the SQA-V or SQA-Vision visualization compartment, assessment should be performed at ZOOM-IN (high magnification and narrow field of view) which will compensate for the very low bead viscosity.

• This technical bulletin is related to fixed coverslip slides only.
• It is not related to the other counting chambers which have different loading principles such as the hemocytometer, Makler chamber and standard slides.

Compliance Date: Effective November 15, 2017
Authority: Lev Rabinovitch, PhD CTO
Distribution: MES LLC, all MES Ltd. distributors

DOWNLOAD Technical Release Bulletin: Fixed Coverslip Slides Sperm/Bead Counting Principles

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Technical Release Bulletin for QC of Morphology Pre-stained Slides

Saturday, October 07, 2017
Technical Release Bulletin for QC of Morphology Pre-stained Slides

To perform quality control of the Morphology pre-stained smears please follow the instructions below.

Preparing QC semen samples:
•  Pool around 5 FRESH semen samples and wash according to the following procedure:
1. Mix the semen sample well.
2. Split into 5 equal volume samples.
3. Dilute each sample to 10 ml with 0.9% (9 g/l) saline or Earle’s buffer.
4. Centrifuge at 800g for 10 minutes.
5. Tip off and discard all but 20–40 μl of the supernatant.
6. Re-suspend the sperm pellet in the remaining supernatant by gentle pipetting.
7. Pool all washed samples.
8. Dilute the pool to 2 ml with 0.9% (9 g/l) saline or Earle’s buffer.
9. Add 20 μl of 35% formalin.
• Distribute 50 μl aliquots of pooled semen samples into the screw cap cryo vials and store at 4 °C.
• Assay sperm Morphology of these QC pool using the standard lab method to establish Morphology Target Range (Papanicolaou is recommended).
• Establish pre-assayed Morphology Target Range: Mean Value +/- 3 standard deviations or 25% whatever is greater (please refer to the link below):

Morphology pre-stained slide QC procedure:
• Assess the QC samples using Morphology pre-stained slides at pre-defined by the lab intervals according to the product insert procedure.
• Compare Morphology QC results with the pre-assayed Morphology Target Range.
• PASS/FAIL: Morphology QC results should fall into the pre-assayed Target Range.

WHO laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen - 5th ed., World Health Organization 2010.

Compliance Date: Effective October 7th, 2017
Authority: Dr. Lev Rabinovitch, CTO
Distribution: Morphology pre-stained slide users

DOWNLOAD Technical Release Bulletin for QC of Morphology Pre-stained Slides

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New SQA-Vision Upgrade | Version 44.3.193

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Medical Electronic Systems is officially announcing the release of a new SQA-Vision Semen Analyzer software update.  The new version will be 44.3.193.  If you are currently on 44.3.167, you will see the following changes:

Flexible Report ‐ A new custom (flexible) report feature was added. This allow the user to design their own report.  MES has publish a guide on how to build out the Flexible report.  Note: Programming Skills required.

Post Vas Counting Mode ‐ A new counting mode was added to the Post Vas. test. The new mode enable the user to scan an entire slide and click to count the cells without entering the number of fields and cells counted.  The user will count all 50 fields available through the lab slide.

Multiple Users ‐ An option to add multiple users and password was added.

Range Icons – Pass vs. Fail indication was replaced with up and down arrows based on the cutoff.

LIS Interface ‐ There is now an option to re‐send a specific patient record as opposed to a whole date range.

Additionally, an option to change the time out delay was added.

Time Format ‐ The time format is now set to a 24hour clock.

Debris Scanning Options ‐ A Gross Debris option was added to the debris scanner.

If you are currently on version 44.3.180 or 44.3.182 you will see the following changes:

Back and Restore – The process has been updated for ease of use and reliability.

Upgrade Process – Streamlined and simplified for future versions.

Debris Scanner Workflow – If the Low Quality Counter is turned off and the Debris Scanner is turned on the Debris Scanner will activate on Low Quality samples.

Stability Improvements – The quality of data transfer and video interfacing is greatly improved for reliability.

To request this free upgrade please submit a request through the website HERE or send an e-mail to


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QwikCheck™ Liquefaction Kit Product Update

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The QwikCheck™ Liquefaction kit manufactured by Medical Electronic Systems (MES) is used to accelerate the liquefaction of viscous or incompletely liquefied semen samples that remain viscous thirty minutes after collection.

The kit contains: 20 single dose, 5 mg vials of lyophilized α-Chymotrypsin and a product insert.


Recently the Chymotrypsin used in the kit has changed in the following ways:

1.  New supplier
2.  Chymotrypsin is now a thin powder (previously it was irregular crystalized particles).
3.  Although the 5mg powder weight is exactly the same as the irregular crystalize particles of the previous Chymotrypsin, it can be seen to occupy a    smaller volume in the individual single dose vials.


• Clinical testing of the new Chymotrypsin vs. the old did not demonstrated any significant change or negatively impact semen parameters.
• The required amount of 5 mg of chymotrypsin per vial has not changed
• The product insert (instructions) has not changed.

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How to Utilize the Backup and Restore Feature of the SQA-Vision

Monday, August 14, 2017

The SQA-Vision system has a backup and restore feature which can be utilized manually or on a set automatic schedule. For SQA-Vision version 44.3.193 the process has been improved for reliability and simplified for routine use. After upgrading to version 44.3.193 please follow these instructions.


Step 1: Insert an external hard drive into an available USB port.
Note: If there are no available USB ports you may use a USB Hub to connect less critical items together such as the mouse, keyboard and printer.
Step 2: Open SQA-Vision Application.
Go into “SETTINGS” then select “SERVICE” from the top tab list. In the BACKUP FREQUENCY box indicate how often you would like the backup to run. If you do not want the system to backup automatically, leave the “BACKUP EVERY” box blank.
Note: The auto-backup will begin upon shut down of the Vision application.
Select “BROWSE” and locate the external hard drive by expanding “This PC.” Select the “BACKUP (E:)” hard drive and hit “OK.”


Step 1: Go into “SERVICE” and select “BACKUP” in the SQA-VISION BACKUP STATUS box.
Note: The BACKUP PATH will still need to be set from the SETTINGS MENU.
Step 2: Backup will begin to copy all data to the external hard drive. Hit “OK” when complete.
Step 3: Verify the Backup has successfully saved your data by checking the external hard drive for the Vision backup file: Folder name: SQAVisionBck_DDMMYYYY_HHMMSS.

Note: In the event that your Vision PC is damaged you may restore your database to a new PC that has been loaded with the Vision Application.

Step 1: Ensure that the Vision Application is installed on an MES supplied PC.
Step 2: Ensure the MES backup external hard drive is inserted.
Step 3: Locating the backup folder.
- Open SQA-Vision application and select “SERVICE” then “RESTORE”.
- Select the desired backup file by clicking the drop-down arrow on the right.
- Select the file name and “Launch Restore”.
- Once the restore is complete launch the Vision App and all data should be available.
Note: Restoring your data from an older backup file will overwrite your current data. It is recommended that the restore feature only be used to re-build new PCs.

For detailed instructions, please download and read our tech bulletin: How to Utilize the Backup and Restore Feature of the SQA-Vision

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact

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Chymotrypsin vs Hyaluronidase

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Here is a question that has came up:

What is the difference between Chymotrypsin and Hyaluronidase?


In the article: Stefan Stephanus du Plessis, Sheila Gokul, Ashok Agarwal. Frontiers in Bioscience, Elite, 5, 224-231, January 1, 2013, the following information on semen hyperviscosity (SHV) treatment can be found:
“Semen hyperviscosity can be treated successfully in vitro by traditional methods as well as by recently developed methods. Hyperviscous semen is commonly diluted or drawn into a hypodermic needle and forced through in order to overcome the elevated viscosity, although these methods are unlikely to be completely effective because SHV is not completely a mechanical phenomenon. More direct treatments of patients presenting with SHV include over hydration, prostatic massage, and the use of parenteral hyaluronidase (injection – my note). These methods showed limited success and have proven not to be too effective.

Less dated methods used in sperm preparation for ART procedures have been shown to improve semen and sperm parameters of infertile males. Honea et al. found that the use of limited proteolysis by using α-chymotrypsin in the treatment of SHV was effective for an in vitro setting such as IVF or IUI. Zavos et al. more recently reported that limited proteolysis by α-chymotrypsin was effective in improving the use and handling of hyperviscous semen samples, and that treatment with α-chymotrypsin assisted in the recovery of high quality sperm in greater numbers than in hyperviscous samples not treated with α-chymotrypsin.”  


Though hyaluronidase is present in semen and used in both IVF procedures and for treatment of patients (via injection), it is not recommended for semen hyperviscosity treatment in vitro because there is no evidence of effectiveness.
α-chymotrypsin was found to be an effective method for SHV in vitro treatment based on the methods listed above and years of clinical practice. 
The QwikCheck Liquefaction Kit (based on α-chymotrypsin) product insert is enclosed, demonstrating the effectiveness of the product in clinical studies.  


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Ransomware Prevention and Protection on MES Systems

Thursday, June 01, 2017
Ransomware is a form of malware that prevents or limits the use of a computer system until a sum of money has been paid.  Variants, namely “WannaCry” (or similar) were observed infecting computers belonging to individuals and businesses, which included healthcare facilities and hospitals worldwide.


1. All SQA-V and SQA-VISION systems are designed to operate “Offline”, which means they do not connect to a network or the internet. 
2. It is not recommended to use the SQA-V or SQA-VISION to run any other software, other than what is pre-installed by Medical Electronic Systems.

3. USB hard drives and flash drives not supplied directly by Medical Electronic Systems must be scanned for viruses or malware before being used to transfer data to and from the system.

4. Operating system patches and service packs must be installed by trained IT staff members using offline methods to transfer data (flash drives, discs, etc.)

5. If your IT staff recommends an operating system upgrade on V-Sperm Computers, please verify with MES support that the new operating system version will be compatible with the instrument and MES software.  Note:  SQA-VISION instruments must remain on Windows 8.1 for proper operation.

6. Medical Electronic Systems does not provide licenses for Operating System upgrades.  In the case of an Operating System upgrade to V-Sperm computers, IT staff must purchase, install and license the operating system directly.  MES will assist in reloading all necessary software pertaining to the system.

7. New V-Sperm computers with supported Operating Systems are available for purchase directly through Medical Electronic Systems.


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Updated QwikCheck QC Beads Storage Recommendations

Friday, April 28, 2017

In order to ensure consistent product performance Medical Electronic Systems is now recommending that opened QwikCheck Bead QC Kits be stored @ 2-8°C (36-46°F). The expiration date assumes that QwikCheck beads are stored in their original containers and tightly capped to prevent evaporation. QwikCheck beads are stable and show no loss of expected performance characteristics after transport/storage over a period of 72 hours at the temperature range of -20°C to +37°C (-4°F to +99°F).


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Precision Vs Accuracy Example

Sunday, April 23, 2017

It is important to understand the relationship and difference between Precision and Accuracy.  Both are important, and both showcase different aspects of a Validation or Comparison study. The image below provides a very nice visual representation:

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No Lubricants During Collection

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
It is highly recommended that no lubricants are used during sample collection if the sample is to be run on the SQA platform.  As you can see in the image below, lubricants can leave an oil looking substance in the seminal plasma which may potentially interfere with the automated analysis performed by the SQA-V and SQA-Vision.  Keep it dry and Keep it Accurate!  Remember, it ALL Started with a Sperm!

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