IMSI Automated Sperm Analysis

Strict Citeria Brought to IMSI

The Only Automated Software Solution for Live Sperm Morphology under High Magnification

IMSI-Strict combines Tygerberg Strict Criteria with motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME) and provides software-based categorization using head size, head shape, mid-piece, and number of vacuoles. Using these analyzed parameters, sperm are assigned to one of three categories – normal, sub-normal or abnormal.

Below video shows human sperm captured at high magnification for analysis using IMSI-Strict software


IMSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection. Using high magnification light microscopy on a live, motile sperm sample, the most morphologically normal sperm is selected from the sperm population and then used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The goal of IMSI is to select the “best sperm” to be injected into the egg with the thought that this sperm will have the highest possibility of success in IVF.

The IMSI method is based on motile sperm organellar morphology examination (MSOME). The examination of motile sperm is performed in real time using an inverted light microscope equipped with high-power Nomarski optics enhanced by digital imaging to achieve a magnification in excess of 6000x. This allows the sperm to be examined in greater detail, including the nucleus which contains the sperm’s genetic material. Some studies suggest that using this technique selects better quality sperm and results in higher pregnancy rates and lower miscarriage rates compared to conventional ICSI.

The Hamilton Thorne IMSI-Strict software aids in the IMSI process by measuring the size and shape of the sperm head, detecting midpiece abnormalities and identifying vacuoles on the live sperm sample. The results are displayed in real-time to assist the embryologist in selection of sperm to use for ICSI.

The Hamilton Thorne IMSI-Strict software is unique in combining MSOME and Kruger Strict criteria in one analysis.

IMSI-Strict: Benefits and Features


  • Objective classification of sperm removes inter-technician variation
  • Fast analysis with immediate results minimizes time from sample preparation to ICSI procedure
  • Allows standardization of user-selected sperm for ICSI
  • No manual measurements of sperm required
  • Save videos and snapshots for quality control and archiving


  • Perform real-time morphology on a live, motile sample or on a snapshot or video image
  • Compatible with dry (~ 60x – 63x) and 100x oil immersion objectives
  • Intuitive interface design for quick learning
  • Pre-set calibration of two objectives for ease of use
  • One-step image processing and analysis
  • Color-coded overlays provide quick visual reference of categorization

IMSI-Strict: Software Overview

Analysis Modes

With IMSI-Strict, there are three methods of analysis from which to choose: 1) perform real-time morphology on the live, motile image, 2) take a snapshot of the live image and then initiate morphology analysis, or 3) record and save a video to use for analysis.

Easy Access Toolbar

The main analysis controls are accessible from the toolbar, so you do not have to search through menus. This means you can quickly locate the controls, begin analysis and limit the time spent selecting sperm.

IMSI-Strict toolbar

Set the video source to Camera Feed, Video Clip of Image File
Pixel Resolution Set the pixel resolution or select one of two presets
Caliper tool
Snapshot Take snapshot image of live camera feed or video clip
Perform morphology on snapshot image
Perform 1-step processing: Take a snapshot image, perform
morphology and optionally save the image to patient folder
Real-time Morphology Begin real-time morphology
Record video Begin/stop video recording of the camera feed
Undock window Undock the video window

One-Touch Morphology

Analyzing in one-touch mode, a snapshot is made of the field, sperm are analyzed, and the image is optionally saved to the patient file. This may also be performed on video samples, as shown below.

Real-time Morphology

In real-time mode, the software follows the sperm and assigns categories (normal, sub-normal, abnormal while the sperm is in motion. This may also be performed on video samples, as shown below.

Main Results Screen

The results screen immediately appears following analysis of all cells in the field of view or when Stop Real-time Morphology is selected.

There are four results screen viewing options available:

  • Show both cell annotations and filmstrip
  • Show cell annotations without filmstrip
  • Show filmstrip without cell annotations
  • Show neither annotations nor filmstrip

With Annontations Without Annotations

Individual Cell Details

Navigation Controls

The results for each cell may be viewed by clicking the navigation arrows in the detailed results pane on the right side of the screen

Shape Signature

Supplementary information of the shape of the sperm cell head can be viewed by selecting the “tilde” button next to the navigation arrows in the detailed results pane on the right side of the screen.

Shape Signature

Parameter Values

An identified object may be assigned to one of four categories.

  • Cell: image is determined to be a sperm cell
  • Debris: image does not possess characteristics of an intact sperm
  • Focus: the focus is unacceptable to determine if object is a cell or debris
  • Ignore: image may be a cell but may be clumped with others, or have severe abnormalities

Head Length: The measured length of the sperm cell head

Head Width: The measured width of the sperm cell

Head Area: The calculated area of the sperm cell head

No. of Vacuoles: The number of vacuoles found

Tot. Vacuole Area: Measured area of all identified vacuoles (µm2)

Rel. Vacuole Area: Measured area of identified vacuoles divided by total head area (%)

Vacuole in PA: Yes/No indication if any vacuole is located in post-acrosomal region.

Cell Classification

See Classification Parameters for detailed information on how cells are classified.

Depending on the Cell Classification, the graphic overlays and classification text will vary. The color code is as follows:

  • Green: Normal
  • Blue: Sub-normal
  • Red: Abnormal

Normal Outcome: A cell with a Normal Outcome, will show two green check marks, plus a green sperm head circumference, green mid piece designators, and no vacuoles.

Sub-normal Outcome: A cell with a sub-normal outcome will show one blue check mark. The colors of the overlay and text will be either green or blue. Vacuoles, indicated by circles, will encompass less than 7% of the head area and no vacuoles will be located in the post-acrsome area.

Abnormal Outcome: A cell with a abnormal outcome will show one red X. The color of at least one parameter will be red or vacuoles will encompass greater than 7% of the head area or at least one vacuole will be located in the post-acrsome area.

System Configurations

Depending on the need of your facility, there are several IMSI-Strict packages from which to choose.

IMSI-Strict Complete Bundle

  • IMSI-Strict software
  • Integrated computer system running Windows 7
  • Digital Camera
  • Security key

IMSI-Strict Software and Camera

Geared towards those who have a computer system meeting the minimum requirements:

  • IMSI-Strict software
  • Digital Camera
  • Security key

IMSI-Strict Software and Computer

Geared towards those who already have an acceptable camera installed on their microscope.

  • IMSI-Strict software
  • Integrated computer system running Windows 7
  • Security key

IMSI-Strict Software Only

Geared towards those who already have an acceptable camera installed on their microscope and have a computer system meeting the minimum requirements.

  • IMSI-Strict software
  • Security key

Note 1 – Please note that the camera must be attached to the microscope using a compatible c-mount adapter. This is available from your microscope dealer.

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