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Saturn 5 Active™

The new Saturn 5™ Directional laser system provides safe and effective laser ablation of the zona pellucida.

The Saturn 5™ Biopsy Mode is helping you to advance improvements in biopsy methods; potentially reducing procedure time, and lowering the incidence of blastocyst collapse and the need to mechanically tear off cells1.

Using the Biopsy Mode, you can draw a straight or curved line along the sample and then select the number and size of the holes on it, then simply “fire”. The laser will ablate exactly along the chosen path. It means you no longer need to move the holding pipette at all. Indeed, for assisted hatching a holding pipette is not required.

  Saturn 5 Lasers Brochure (1.2 MB, 0 hits)

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  • Biopsy Mode: New biopsy mode allows accurate laser drilling along a straight or curved drawn line
  • Safest Power: Lowest laser pulse energy for minimal energy near critical cells. Exclusion Zone™ feature ensures cell safety
  • Precise: Sub-micron accuracy and unique computer controlled laser with guaranteed laser alignment
  • Rapid: Faster than ever directional laser increases functionality and decreases procedure times
  • Easy to Use: Intuitive RI Viewer software package with streamlined interface. Programmable foot pedal controls software and laser functions including the new biopsy and multi-pulse modes
  • Versatile: Compatible with all popular brands of micromanipulators and inverted microscopes


The new Saturn 5 Active™ directional laser system uses cutting edge fibre-optic, laser and robotic technology delivering the best in speed, safety, accuracy and smooth operation.

By employing a higher laser power, Saturn 5 Active™ applies less energy to achieve a specified hole size in comparison to lower power laser systems. (See graph.)

Energy delivered vs.hole diameter


The Saturn 5 Active™ also has a new faster motor helping to cut down on procedure times. The Saturn 5 Active™ laser system has a red pilot beam that confirms the shape and focus of the beam, as well as guaranteeing the exact position of the ablation laser.

The Saturn 5 Active™ laser is a Class 1 laser product as defined by international laser safety standards. It is CE-marked and FDA cleared1.

ri viewer

RI Viewer™ software is included with Saturn 5 Active™ and Saturn 5™. It offers a modern, clean user interface featuring:

  • One click mouse or foot pedal image capture and video recording
  • Measurements tools
  • Laser simulator for training and demonstration purposes
  • An Exclusion Zone™ based on published medical research2, which indicates how close to critical cells the laser can be fired

Saturn 5™ Laser Specifications

  Saturn 5 Lasers Brochure (1.2 MB, 0 hits)

  Hardware Brochure (3.4 MB, 0 hits)

  Product Catalogue (5.6 MB, 0 hits)

  Saturn 5 White Paper - A comparison of different power levels used by laser systems (250.3 KiB, 1,785 hits)

  Saturn Laser Diode Warranty Card.pdf (398.9 KiB, 0 hits)

Lead Embryologist, Samantha Knight has been using the Saturn 5 Active™ laser system for Assisted Hatching, Blastomere Biopsy and Blastocyst Collapsing since November 2012.

“The moveable Saturn laser means I can ablate the zona exactly where I want to, without having to move the embryo, also the new Biopsy Mode allows me to accurately make holes in either straight or curved lines along the zona.

The new laser system from RI makes the procedure quicker, easier and safer to perform than ever before. We love it”

Dr Melihan Bechir from Fertilia in Bucuresti, Romania has the first Saturn 5 Active™ laser to be produced globally.

“We have been working with it for the last 7 months. I can say that the Saturn 5™ laser has really improved and sped up my procedures.

The Saturn 5 Active™ laser is very impressive as it gives you a lot of freedom in how you do the procedures, the software is very easy to use, very comprehensive and the Biopsy Mode helped me process the cells for PGD and helped my patients obtain a healthy baby.

The Saturn 5™ is the first laser in our clinic and before we chose it I tried other models available on the market and I can say now that this is the best choice”.

Senior Embryologist, Nicole Schlanger uses the Saturn Active™ laser system for Blastocyst Biopsy procedures.

“We use the Saturn Active™ laser system routinely for blastocyst biopsy,” explains Nicole. “To biopsy a blastocyst, the laser must be used multiple times throughout the procedure to separate the trophectoderm cells, and therefore it is important that the laser moves, rather than the blastocyst. With Saturn Active™, we are able to keep the blastocyst and biopsy/holding pipettes in the one place and use the computer to move the laser to the desired point on the blastocyst. This is the major difference between the Saturn Active™ and other laser systems.”

Saturn 5™ and Saturn 5 Active™ FAQ’s

Q. Why do I need a laser?
A. For Assisted Hatching, Blastomere Biopsy, Polar Body Biopsy and other procedures, it is necessary to make a hole in the zona pellucida. Using a laser to do this is more precise, safer and quicker than other methods, and you will be saving a great deal in disposables such as Acid Tyrodes and pipettes, and reducing the amount of time lab staff spend preparing for and performing procedures. One other very important factor is that lasers standardise laboratory procedures by reducing operator variability, which can be a big problem when, for example, using Acid Tyrodes for Assisted Hatching.

Q. What are the advantages of the RI system?
A. The Saturn 5 Active™ laser can be directed to where the hole is required, eliminating the need to drag the embryo across the bottom of the dish, which can be difficult and time-consuming. The Saturn 5 Active™ has a visible pilot laser to ensure the laser is aligned to the objective (so that “flaring” of the laser beam does not occur) and to check the position of the laser when required. It has a high power and ultra short pulse time combination to make the most energy-efficient holes with minimal heat transfer – the Saturn 5™ laser systems use shorter pulse times than any competitor system. It also comes with a sophisticated software package – RI Viewer – to record images and data for both lab and patient use.

Q. Why do I need a pilot laser?
A. The pilot laser ensures that the laser is not going to flare or spread heat where it is not required. Microscopes also have a number of moving parts which could affect the position of the laser e.g. the nosepiece, camera and port selector. The only way to be certain of the position of the laser is to check it before firing. Using a pilot laser that travels down the same fibre-optic as the main laser, gives this guarantee and reduces the need for additional service visits. RI lasers are calibrated to within 1µm accuracy.

Q. What is the difference between the Saturn Pilot laser and other red spot targeting systems?
A. Misalignment is not possible with the Saturn pilot laser but competitor systems cannot guarantee alignment and it is not possible to “tweak”. Shape and focus quality of the Saturn laser can be checked – this is not possible with other systems. Having a red target visible down the microscope may encourage the user to use this for drilling embryos when in fact, targeting when looking down the microscope can be dangerous.

Q. Other lasers can adjust the power as well as the pulse length, isn’t this an advantage?
A. No. Our research shows that the most efficient way to deliver the laser energy is to use pulse length to control the hole size. This results in the lowest amount of heat reaching the embryo, therefore the lowest possible risk of thermal damage. Besides which, other laser systems do not allow the user to vary the power in clinical use, only in a non-clinical evaluation mode. Ask to see the white paper from RI if you would like to see the data.

Q. Isn’t a higher power laser dangerous for the user?
A. Our lasers are Class 1 (the safest level), as defined by international laser safety standards, so no special safety precautions are required. As an extra precaution we also fit an infrared filter to prevent any infrared laser energy reaching the operator.

Q. How do I know that the laser beam is not damaging the embryo?
A. We have worked with embryologists to assess the damage done to embryos at different pulse lengths and at varying distances from critical cells. Based on the results of the study* we developed an “Exclusion Zone™” that surrounds the laser target and ensures superfluous heat will not be applied to critical cells. This is more clinically relevant than providing a temperature as this is entirely theoretical and leaves the embryologist with a problem in deciding what temperature is safe.
*K. Chatzimeletiou et al, “Comparison of effects of zona drilling by non-contact infrared laser or acid Tyrodes on the development of human biopsied embryos as revealed by blastomere viability, cytoskeletal analysis and molecular cytogenetics”, Reproductive BioMedicine Online, Vol 11. No 6. 2005 697–710
Q. I have been told that an off-axis laser cannot focus properly. Is this true?
A. This only applies to a simple lens. The Saturn 5 Active™ objective is a complex compound lens which is corrected for astigmatism, so the laser is focused correctly everywhere in the range of movement. This is easily demonstrated by looking at the pilot laser diffraction rings as the beam is moved. Any focus error would be obvious as the ring pattern would visibly change. Furthermore it has always been a routine requirement that all parts of the field of view are in sharp focus. The same is true for the laser.

Q. Is the alignment of the laser difficult?
A. No. Initial alignment is carried out once on installation. The laser position should be checked before each procedure, and this takes 2 seconds. A full calibration can be done from time to time to ensure optimal alignment and this takes 30 seconds. This is a very simple procedure and worthwhile to guarantee the embryo is not about to be damaged.

Q. Can I transfer it to another microscope?
A. Yes, if it is the same model of microscope. If it is a different model then most parts can be transferred, but a different mount will be required. Use the fibre cleaning kit 6-46-590 for installation.

Q. Can I upgrade my Saturn 3™ to a Saturn 5™?
A. Yes, the Saturn 3™ and Saturn 3 Active™ can be upgraded to Saturn 5™ or Saturn 5 Active™ with the purchase of parts.

Q. How long will Saturn 3 and Saturn 3 Active™ parts be manufactured for?
A. We will be supporting the Saturn 3 lasers for at least 7 years from the launch of the Saturn 5 lasers.

Q. How long is the warranty and expected life-span of the laser?
A. Our warranty is one year from despatch of goods. The system is designed to work reliably for many years.

Q. How does RI provide technical support in terms of service and repairs?
A. RI prides itself on its customer service – it is very important to us that our equipment is working at its best and that customers are completely satisfied. If a part needs replacing, RI can usually send replacements in 1-2 working days to most parts of the world, or repair equipment back in the UK. Our service team and those from major distributors can carry out routine servicing annually or as required.

Contact your distributor or our technical support team on or by telephone Monday to Thursday 08.00-16.30 GMT and Friday 08.00-15.30 GMT on +44 (0) 1326 372753.

Q. Who else uses the RI system?
A. We have happy customers all over the world. Please contact us for further details.