Agilent acquires Molecular Imaging

Agilent Technologies has acquired privately held Molecular Imaging Corporation (Tempe, AZ), a leading developer and manufacturer of nanotechnology measurement tools.

PALO ALTO, CA - Agilent Technologies has acquired privately held Molecular Imaging Corporation (Tempe, AZ), a leading developer and manufacturer of nanotechnology measurement tools. Financial details were not disclosed. Among other things, Molecular Imaging is known for its atomic force microscopes (AFMs), the principal imaging and measurement instruments used by researchers working in nanotechnology.

Agilent already has a solid position in the laser interferometer market to precisely measure distances at the nanometer scale. The acquisition of Molecular Imaging marks the next step in strengthening Agilent’s market position in nanomeasurement by extending the company’s portfolio into imaging at the nanometer scale through AFMs.

“This is a strategic acquisition for Agilent because it complements our core strength of measurement technology while growing our presence in nanotechnology,” said Bob Burns, vice president of Agilent’s Nanotechnology Measurements Division. “Molecular Imaging has premier AFM technology that is the leader in imaging in-situ samples in their natural state.”

Nanotechnology is important to Agilent, Burns added, because it is a common denominator between the two chief areas of the company’s business--the electronic measurements side and the analytical measurements side, which concentrates on life sciences and chemical analysis.

Atomic force microscopes are a significant portion of the $1 billion market for nanotechnology measurement tools. Molecular Imaging’s chief product line is the PicoPlus family of modular, high-resolution AFMs, which are used for high-resolution imaging in fluids as well as ambient and controlled environmental and temperature conditions. Customers are researchers in the areas of drug discovery, life science, electrochemistry, materials science and polymer science.

Professor Stuart Lindsay and Dr. Tianwei Jing from Arizona State University founded Molecular Imaging in 1993 and has had a continuous relationship with ASU since then. Because of these strong ties, Agilent has no plans to move Molecular Imaging operations from the Tempe area. Molecular Imaging employees have joined Agilent.

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