The SQA-V Gold and Sample Incubation
According to the SQA-V GOLD specifications, it is essential that semen samples are not heated prior to testing. The SQA-V GOLD is calibrated to conduct tests at room temperature: 22-26ºC (68-79ºF). Heating a sample prior to analysis in the SQA-V GOLD impacts the motility of the sample. When heated, the spermatozoa use the nutrients in the seminal plasma at a different metabolic rate than when the sample is not heated. The SQA-V GOLD is programmed to read non-heated samples, run within one hour of collection. The SQA-V algorithms convert electronic signals produced by non-heated spermatozoa into clinical parameters. To establish these algorithms with a very high level of accuracy and precision, samples at ROOM TEMPERATURE were tested on the SQA-V and compared to samples manually tested at ROOM TEMPERATURE following WHO testing protocols. The problem with pre-heating samples for SQA-V testing is twofold: Because there is no heating stage in the SQA-V GOLD, the temperature of a pre-heated sample will drop when running the sample in the system resulting in an unpredictable distortion of the test results (with particular impact to PROGRESSIVE motility). Also, if the sample is heated for a prolonged time, the motility may actually decrease over time as the seminal plasma nutrients are metabolized by the sperm cells at a faster rate. Therefore, for both routine SQA-V semen testing and for running comparisons of the SQA-V to manual test results, only non-heated samples should be tested or the results may differ.