Methods of measuring swimming speed of spermatozoa.
Three basic approaches for determining the mean swimming speed of a suspension of microorganisms were compared, using bull and ram spermatozoa. Number fluctuation counting was performed automatically on a Quantimet 720 image analysing computer, the mean speed being obtained using 'probability after' statistics. The other two approaches were photomicrographic: number flux counting was performed on single photomicrographs; on the same photomicrographs, the mean speed was estimated from measurement of 'whole' and 'half' track lengths. These results were compared with each other and with the Quantimet results. The 'probability after' method was also compared, on additional samples, with cine-photomicrographic tracking. The mean speeds predicted by the 'probability after' method compared favourably with the other methods (range 68 mum/sec to 162 mum/sec). The results also suggested that, on single photomicrographs, measurement of 'half' track lengths or number flux counting were generally preferable to measurement of whole track lengths.
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