Setting standards


Written by Maxime Sergent

When I reflect on what IMV Technologies’ DNA is, I often come to the idea of setting standards.

The first documented artificial insemination (AI) was performed by Lazzaro Spallanzani in 1780; Polge’s discovery of glycerol’s cryoprotecting properties was published in 1949; other important discoveries followed. IMV came to life decades, even centuries, after these academic discoveries made artificial insemination possible.

Robert Cassou’s invention can seem a bit trivial when compared to the scientific breakthroughs that preceded it. A straw is, after all, just a simple unit made of “plastic”. 

However, this plastic straw is precisely what makes all the difference!  Call it what you will: The French straw, the classic bovine AI straw or even the Cassou straw, as it is still known in China, the product is indeed a very simple item.

Its genius resides in its simplicity: it is a container that is easily filled, scalable to laboratory throughput level, secure in liquid nitrogen, and once in the field, its plug becomes the syringe’s piston.  Brilliant!  Sure, in some areas of the world frozen semen doses have survived in other containers, but for the most part, a frozen semen dose is packaged in the original format invented by Mr. Cassou in 1963.

This tiny invention made so much sense that it has supported the bovine AI industry, satisfying its sanitary needs, as well as being the unavoidable method to carry genetic progress globally. It has withstood the test of time and has made many other technologies practical, including progeny testing, genomic testing and sex-sorted semen. 

The next standard comes now with the Alpha Straws: the same original concept only more precise, more consistent, and safer.

Looking back, IMV indeed set a standard; but looking ahead, we have raised it.

The views expressed in IMV Technologies’ blog do not necessarily represent the views of the IMV Technologies Group but solely those of the blog post’s author