Focus On IVF

Start life with Nikon microscope systems.

Nikon microscopes have played a key role in the development of Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) from the very start; the world’s first in vitro fertilization (IVF) babies were conceived both in the UK and the US with the help of Nikon microscopes. At the heart of Nikon’s offering in ART is an understanding of the needs of IVF today – excellent optical quality and cell-friendly imaging technologies which minimize environmental stress and optimize cell viability during imaging.

Today, Nikon continues to be a leader in IVF by providing embryologists with diverse tools to support every step of the ART cycle: from upright microscopes for spermatozoa assessment, through stereomicroscopes for oocyte monitoring and selection, to inverted microscope systems for live cell imaging and micromanipulation. All these techniques are delicate procedures requiring sample manipulation carried out under highest quality microscopic observation.

The ART Cycle


Perform optimal sperm counting, maturity, motility, vitality and morphological studies with excellent phase contrast and fluorescence observation with Nikon’s Eclipse upright microscopes. The E200 or Ci-L with their advanced ergonomics combined with Nikon’s world renowned CFI60 optical system, are ideal for andrology studies, offering high optical performance for easy spermatozoa quantification. Phase contrast accessories to increase sample contrast and enhance fine specimen detail along with maintenance–free LED illumination to prevent sample heating are ideal for the high volume Andrology Laboratory.

Oocyte, dechorionation and follow up

Abnormal embryo with three pro nuclei*

Normal embryo with two pro nuclei*

Comfortably monitor your oocytes and embryos at your preferred magnification with Nikon’s SMZ series of stereomicroscopes offering zoom ratios from 4.4:1 to 25:1 with exceptional optical quality and homogeneous illumination throughout the field and ergonomic design for a variety of embryology and ART applications. Vibration-free, and with the flexibility to fit in anywhere. Choose your preferred magnification of work and we will advise and coordinate the installation in your environmental hood and workspace.

Fertilization by IVF or ICSI

Nikon’s renowned Advanced Modulation Contrast (NAMC) optics, as well as the newly developed simple Emboss Contrast technique, enable optimal contrast levels for fine detail observation during sperm selection by morphological features (IMSI) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) procedures, as well as adjusting to different thickness of ICSI dish. To support ICSI and IMSI procedures, you can choose from Nikon’s compatible micromanipulation equipment, featuring Narishige and Eppendorf products. Nikon’s inverted observation microscopes, the Ts2R and Ti2 systems, are the mainstay of IVF procedures, offering exceptional optical quality and a compact, robust and vibration-resistant design which allows easy micromanipulator mounting and flexibility to adapt stage heaters, cameras and other accessories for IVF.

ICSI sequence - Images courtesy of Dr Pierre Boyer, Laboratoire d’AMP, Hôpital Saint Joseph, Marseille, France

Embryo biopsy and assisted hatching

Ti2 with Octax Laser system
Image courtesy of Vitrolife

Embryo biopsy and assisted hatching - images courtesy of Vitrolife and Dr Mary Herbert, Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life

After fertilization has taken place, further steps may be required for the success of the ART cycle by further manipulation of the embryo through assisted hatching and/or pre-implantation genetic screening/diagnosis (PGS/D). For both techniques, lasers are used to finely cut or shape the zona pellucida of the embryo for these advanced techniques.. Nikon’s Eclipse Ti2 inverted observation microscope is designed laser safe for the best protection of the embryos and operator during laser procedures. NAMC optics enable optimal contrast levels for fine detail observation during embryo biopsy procedures as well as assisted hatching.

Image Documentation

Nikon offers a variety of camera and software options for every microscope model to help visualize and document every process in the ART Cycle from sperm selection to oocyte preparation to fertilization by ICSI to Embryo biopsy and assisted hatching.