Effect of vibration emissions during shipping of artificial insemination doses on boar semen quality
The shipping of semen doses to sow farms can impair boar semen quality. Unfortunately, there is currently no practice-oriented information available regarding general shipping conditions of boar semen. For this reason, a special mobile sensing app (TransportLog 1.0), utilizing the built-in sensors of smartphones, has been programmed to capture vibration emissions during shipping of semen doses (QuickTip Flexitubes®, Minitüb). Data were analyzed, transformed and used as standards for simulating vibration emissions from an orbital shaker IKA MTS 4 (Laborgeräte München) in a spermatological reference laboratory. Twenty ejaculates were collected randomly and diluted using a one-step isothermal process in a split-sample procedure in Beltsville Thawing Solution (BTS, Minitüb). The sperm concentration was adjusted to 24 × 106 sperm/mL. The dose filling volume was 85 ± 1 mL. Samples were stored for seven days at 17 °C. The results showed that circular horizontal vibration emissions with frequencies of 300 rpm for a duration of 6 h led to a significant alkalization of the BTS-extended semen. Semen motility, mitochondrial activity, acrosome and plasma membrane integrity as well as thermo-resistance all demonstrated a frequency-dependent negative response to vibration emissions during long-term storage. This study leads to new insights and recommendations for the shipping of boar semen in the artificial insemination industry. Furthermore, a new monitoring tool for boar semen shipping was established using mobile sensing.