A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

PerkinElmer (Boston) reported the acquisition of a line of dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) products from Triton Technology (Keyworth, UK) for an undisclosed sum.

The DMA instrument is used by scientists in the polymers, pharma and food industries for applications ranging from quality control to advanced research.

“This acquisition brings our customers a best-in-class thermal analysis tool that combines ease-of-use and flexibility with powerful performance,” said Robert Friel, president of PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences. “We believe that this transaction will allow our DMA technology to flourish in the very capable hands of PerkinElmer, while releasing resources within Triton Technology Ltd. allowing us to bring forward the development of radical new technology for the QA/QC of polymeric materials,” said Glynn Van-de-Velde, director, Triton Technology.

In other dealmaking news:

Rosetta Biosoftware (Seattle) reported that Eisai (Tokyo) licensed the Elucidator system for differential protein expression analysis and biomarker discovery.

Eisai, one of the largest pharma companies in Japan, said it will be using the Elucidator in its Laboratory of Seeds Finding Technology to support LC-MS quantification methods for identifying neurology biomarkers. The Elucidator system’s data management capabilities are designed to allow users to effectively organize, search for, and retrieve raw and processed protein expression data. Rosetta Biosoftware is a provider of informatics solutions for life science research.

“The Elucidator system will be an important tool for enabling quantitative methods and characterizing cancer proteomes by multidimensional LC-MS/MS,” said Yoshiya Oda, PhD, senior scientist at the Laboratory of Seeds Finding Technology.

Thorlabs (Newton, New Jersey), a manufacturer of photonics products has licensed a new microscope technology invented by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York). Financial terms were not disclosed.

The device, which is called the Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM), provides the ability to view large areas of a sample without sacrificing image resolution and is suited for automating difficult tasks in biological laboratories, from diagnosing cancer to discovering new drugs.

The technology was invented by researchers at the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Thorlabs has donated equipment to CATS and also supports the Smart Optics Laboratory, one of several labs at CATS, where ASOM research is continuing. The ASOM scans a mirror over the sample, while a camera captures a series of small, distinct snapshots, the images then assembled into a mosaic providing a larger field-of-view, at very high resolution, without needing to switch lenses or move the sample.

The challenge with this method is that when the mirror is not looking straight down onto the sample, it introduces blurriness. CATS researchers said they solved this using an adaptive optic element, a “deformable” mirror that changes shape to correct for the off-axis aberrations that cause the blurring.

The device, much like a “funhouse” mirror, is made up of tiny Microelectromechanical Systems, allowing the ASOM to operate 10 to 100 times faster than current automated microscopes. The microscope can be programmed to quickly scan specific regions of interest in the sample, bouncing back and forth between tracking multiple moving objects, a feature useful for observing live microorganisms or in monitoring microscale industrial processes.

Wen, who is also director of the CATS, said, “We have had an ongoing relationship with Thorlabs, and we look forward to working with them to help accelerate the development of the ASOM to market.”

Rensselaer’s technology will initially be marketed by Thorlabs as a benchtop instrument for biological laboratories and microrobotics research and in the future could be used in automated medical diagnostics and industrial-quality assurance.

Thorlabs’ products range from simple optical and mechanical components, to integrated test and measurement systems. Rensselaer Polytechnic, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university.