Bruker acquires Michrom Bioresources

Michrom’s nanoflow ultra-high performance liquid chromatography system is principal asset driving the deal

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BILLERICA, Mass.—Bruker has signed an agreement to acquireMichrom Bioresources Inc., a 20-year-old, privately owned company based inAuburn, Calif.
 
Michrom provides liquid chromatography (LC) instrumentation,accessories and consumables for applications in the life science, chemical andapplied markets. In particular, Michrom recently has launched the novel Advancenanoflow ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) system andproprietary CaptiveSpray Ionization (CSI) sources for coupling to massspectrometry (MS) in proteomics and other life-science applications.
 
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, andBruker declined to comment on the whys and wherefores of the acquisition untilthe closing, which is expected within weeks. But with Michrom's 2010 revenuehovering in the $3 million range, an immediate spike to sales and profits is anunlikely motivation. Instead, it appears that Michrom's UHPLC technology piquedBruker's interest.
 
In commenting on the agreement, Collin D'Silva, president ofBruker's Chemical & Applied Markets division, says that "Michrom's broadportfolio of novel technologies and high-performance products is highlycomplementary to our mass spectrometry products. In particular, Michrom's newhigh duty-cycle nanoflow UHPLC platform, along with their revolutionaryCaptiveSpray LC-MS interface, together will provide our customers withsignificant gains in throughput, sensitivity and robustness for proteomics andother nano and capillary flow LC-MS applications."
 
Michrom President Kerry Nugent expects the transaction tomake Michrom's products more widely available to global customers seeking thesekey novel technologies.
 
"With Bruker's Fremont, Calif., manufacturing infrastructureand well-developed global distribution channels, we will be able to makegreater strides to provide customers with advanced analytical solutions thatembody technologies based on our expertise in biochemistry and microfluidics,"he says. "I am very excited that the significant potential of our newtechnologies is now closer to being realized by more discerning customers."
 
Nugent is expected to join Bruker as senior vice presidentof liquid chromatography, and Bruker plans to retain all of Michrom's employeesas well.
 
The Advance nanoLC is a splitless nano-capillaryhigh-performance instrument that is designed to provide precise, reproducibleseparations from 100 nL/min to 50,000 nL/min with no hardware changes. Thesystem features < 25 nL delay volume and operates up to 10,000 PSI (70MPa),providing the ability to run long columns for extremely high resolution andeliminating both delay and re-equilibration times to maximize mass specutilization time.
 
CSI provides the next step in the evolution of LC/MS(0.1-100 µl/min), bridging the flow, sensitivity and robust operational gapbetween electro-spray ionization (ESI) and nanospray ionization (NSI). CSIutilizes a high-voltage, non-tapered capillary emitter attached to the vacuumof the MS, which pulls in gas around the emitter, funneling all the sample ionsinto the MS. Its plug-and-play operation requires no cameras or "xyz"alignment, providing ESI robustness with NSI sensitivity. 
 
CSI is used by proteomics researchers who want higherthroughput and/or robust operation for qualitative and quantitativeidentification, as well as by pharmaceutical scientists who need enhancedsensitivity without sacrificing robustness or throughput, Michrom states.


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