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Bruker acquires Michrom Bioresources
BILLERICA, Mass.—Bruker has signed an agreement to acquire Michrom Bioresources Inc., a 20-year-old, privately owned company based in Auburn, Calif.
Michrom provides liquid chromatography (LC) instrumentation, accessories and consumables for applications in the life science, chemical and applied markets. In particular, Michrom recently has launched the novel Advance nanoflow ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) system and proprietary CaptiveSpray Ionization (CSI) sources for coupling to mass spectrometry (MS) in proteomics and other life-science applications.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, and Bruker declined to comment on the whys and wherefores of the acquisition until the closing, which is expected within weeks. But with Michrom's 2010 revenue hovering in the $3 million range, an immediate spike to sales and profits is an unlikely motivation. Instead, it appears that Michrom's UHPLC technology piqued Bruker's interest.
In commenting on the agreement, Collin D'Silva, president of Bruker's Chemical & Applied Markets division, says that "Michrom's broad portfolio of novel technologies and high-performance products is highly complementary to our mass spectrometry products. In particular, Michrom's new high duty-cycle nanoflow UHPLC platform, along with their revolutionary CaptiveSpray LC-MS interface, together will provide our customers with significant gains in throughput, sensitivity and robustness for proteomics and other nano and capillary flow LC-MS applications."
Michrom President Kerry Nugent expects the transaction to make Michrom's products more widely available to global customers seeking these key novel technologies.
"With Bruker's Fremont, Calif., manufacturing infrastructure and well-developed global distribution channels, we will be able to make greater strides to provide customers with advanced analytical solutions that embody technologies based on our expertise in biochemistry and microfluidics," he says. "I am very excited that the significant potential of our new technologies is now closer to being realized by more discerning customers."
Nugent is expected to join Bruker as senior vice president of liquid chromatography, and Bruker plans to retain all of Michrom's employees as well.
The Advance nanoLC is a splitless nano-capillary high-performance instrument that is designed to provide precise, reproducible separations from 100 nL/min to 50,000 nL/min with no hardware changes. The system features < 25 nL delay volume and operates up to 10,000 PSI (70MPa), providing the ability to run long columns for extremely high resolution and eliminating both delay and re-equilibration times to maximize mass spec utilization time.
CSI provides the next step in the evolution of LC/MS (0.1-100 µl/min), bridging the flow, sensitivity and robust operational gap between electro-spray ionization (ESI) and nanospray ionization (NSI). CSI utilizes a high-voltage, non-tapered capillary emitter attached to the vacuum of the MS, which pulls in gas around the emitter, funneling all the sample ions into 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 higher throughput and/or robust operation for qualitative and quantitative identification, as well as by pharmaceutical scientists who need enhanced sensitivity without sacrificing robustness or throughput, Michrom states.