In the mid-1980’s, Dr. John Lighton was looking for a metabolic measurement system that could be used for his small-animal studies, which required extreme stability and resolution. The instrumentation available to him at that time was awkward, imprecise, and difficult to use, so he designed his own equipment. His fellow researchers saw what he was doing and wanted to use his innovative new instruments. In 1987, Dr. Lighton founded Sable Systems International to provide scientists with integrated, lab- and field-tested metabolic measurement systems designed specifically for their use. Sable Systems quickly grew into the leading metabolic measurement company for researchers demanding quality instrumentation, system configuration expertise, study design know-how, and world-class customer support.

In 2008, Dr. Lighton wrote “Measuring Metabolic Rates – A Manual for Scientists”, which today ranks as the most widely-read and referenced work on metabolic measurement. In 2020, Oxford University Press released the 2nd Edition with new chapters on room calorimetry, human metabolic measurement, and metabolic phenotyping.

The superior performance of the company’s Classic Line instruments and systems has been proven repeatedly, as documented in many scientific publications. In 2011, the company introduced its flagship Promethion line of systems for biomedical and pharmaceutical scientists. The Promethion line incorporates Sable Systems innovation, reliability, and accuracy in a streamlined easy-to-use design. In 2017, Sable launched Promethion Core – the first large-scale, high-throughput metabolic/behavioral system for rodents. In 2021, Sable introduced the innovative Promethion Live software platform that enables unprecedented insight and control into ongoing experiments.

Today, Sable Systems continues its passionate pursuit to innovate and help its customers achieve the best possible results in their work.

Sable Systems Timeline: Enabling Scientists for Over 30 Years

Metabolic Treadmill – measures mouse cardiorespiratory fitness analogous to human fitness tests
Promethion Core integration with an advanced Methane Analyzer for high resolution measurement of methane released from gut bacteria of rodents
Environmental Control Cabinet – the first and only cabinet designed to house metabolic phenotyping cages
Promethion Isocage – germ-free or immunocompromised animals, and gut microbiome research with the new methane analyzer
Promethion Core integration with an advanced Stable Isotope Gas Analyzer that measures the oxidation of both exogenous and endogenous nutrients
Promethion Core™ – the first large-scale, high-throughput metabolic/behavioral system for rodents
MAVEn™ – the first fully integrated energetics system for Drosophila metabolic phenotyping
Promethion Human Room Calorimetry system developed for St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, NY
FMS – the first portable and rugged complete Field Metabolic System
Promethion™ – the first integrated digital system for metabolism and behavior monitoring
Oxford University Press publishes Measuring Metabolic Rates – a Manual for Scientists, by John Lighton
Sable respirometry goes into space on the Bigelow Aerospace Genesis II
FoxBox and Turbo Fox portable O2, CO2 and flow systems meet the rugged needs of field studies
Oxzilla dual-channel differential oxygen analyzer, the Gold Standard for O2 measurement
Extended range CO2 analyzers, with FlowKit mass flow generators for larger animals
FC1 fuel cell oxygen analyzer vastly improves stability and accuracy of oxygen analysis
First integrated hardware/software respirometry system to researchers at UC Irvine
John Lighton founded Sable Systems International, encouraged by his advisor noted Biologist George A. Bartholomew