Laser Assisted Hatching

For a pregnancy to result from any assisted reproductive technology procedure, the embryo must successfully implant into the uterus following the embryo transfer. Failure of the embryo to implant is one of the main reasons that some ART procedures, such as ICSI, don't result in a pregnancy.

When sperm and eggs are combined in a laboratory, the zona pellucida (the shell surrounding the fertilized egg) hardens, making it more difficult for the embryo to implant. The laser micromanipulation technique called laser hatching is an additional lab technique designed to improve the efficiency of assisted reproductive technology procedures such as ICSI.


Using a precision laser, an opening is made in the zona pellucida to weaken the wall of the embryo. The opening made by laser hatching helps the embryo hatch from the zona pellucida and implant correctly.

  • The embryo (Laser Hatching Video) is positioned under the microscope. This is a 4-cell Grade Aembryo; and you can see it zona (shell) clearly.
  • The laser is used to make an opening at 3 o'clock. This is a non-contact laser, which means the embryo is not touched at all.
  • The laser is fired again to increase the size of the opening. Note how precisely this is done, and how accurate and well-controlled it is.
  • The laser is fired again, so that the entire zona is breached. This opening will help the embryo to hatch from the zona during implantation. The laser is fired far away from the blastomeres, so that these are not damaged at all. This embryo is now ready for transfer into the uterine cavity, where it will hopefully implant and become a baby.


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