J Vet Sci.  2017 Mar;18(1):81-88. 10.4142/jvs.2017.18.1.81.

Alginate encapsulation preserves the quality and fertilizing ability of Mediterranean Italian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and Holstein Friesian (Bos taurus) spermatozoa after cryopreservation

  • 1Department of Drug Sciences, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy. theodora.chlapanidas@unipv.it
  • 2Italian Experimental Institute Lazzaro Spallanzani, 26027 Rivolta D'Adda, Italy.
  • 3Department of Veterinary Science and Public Health, University of Milan, 20133 Milan, Italy.


The use of artificial insemination (AI) in buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is limited by poor ovarian activity during the hot season, seasonal qualitative patterns in semen, low resistance of sperm cells in the female tract, difficulties in estrus detection, and variable estrus duration. Although AI procedures are commonly used in bovine, use of AI has been limited in buffalo. In the zootechnical field, different studies have been conducted to develop techniques for improvement of fertilizing ability of buffalo spermatozoa after AI. In this study, for the first time, the use of alginate encapsulation and cryopreservation of buffalo spermatozoa is described, and the same procedure was performed with Holstein Friesian (Bos taurus) semen. Results obtained from in vitro analyses indicate that the encapsulation process does not have detrimental effects (compared to controls) on quality parameters (membrane integrity, progressive motility, path average velocity) in either species. Similarly, there were no detrimental effects after cryopreservation in either species. The fertilizing potential of encapsulated and cryopreserved semen was evaluated after AI in 25 buffalo and 113 bovine females. Pregnancy rates were not affected in either species. The results of this study show proof of concept for the use of frozen semen controlled-release devices in buffalo.


alginic acid; artificial insemination; buffaloes; cryopreservation; drug compounding encapsulation
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