Invitrogen Acquires Two Nanotechnology Companies, Building Its Nanotechnology Portfolio to Its Molecular Probes Business
Invitrogen, a life sciences company providing innovative technologies to support disease research, has acquired Quantum Dot and the BioPixels business unit of BioCrystal.These nanotechnology acquisitions, along with a technology license from Georgia Tech for new metal nanocluster technology, represent a significant push to continue the company’s growing market share in technology for labeling and detection, one of the fastest growing segments in the life sciences research market. Augie Sick, General Manager of Molecular Probes at Invitrogen, tells the NWN, “In terms of positioning ourselves for continued strong growth, this acquisition provides us with a deeper portfolio and a significant intellectual property position. Right now, we're in the very early stages of market penetration with nanocrystals and these acquisitions position us well for continued growth.” Currently, the dominant technology for labeling and detection is based on organic fluorescent molecules. Nanotechnology-based labeling and detection methods offer longer lasting signals and narrower emission spectra than their organic molecule counterparts, making nanotech the future of life science labeling.
Augie Sick explains, “For example, a probe that attaches to cancer cells could be used to mark how a tumor responds to a drug. Current technology for such labeling is dominated by organic molecule florescent dyes. Semiconductor nanocrystals, an inorganic technology, represent the next generation of imaging.” How will these recent nanotechnology acquisitions bolster Invitrogen’s labeling and detection technology? Augie Sick explains to NWN, “The new acquisitions continue Invitrogen’s market-leading presence in the field of molecular probes, which enable researchers to track what is going on inside cells. Both Quantum Dot and BioPixels are involved in the cutting-edge field of semiconductor nanocrystals, an inorganic labeling and detection technology. With a narrower emission spectrum and more stable signal, nanocrystals are a more versatile molecular marker for imaging than traditional fluorescent dyes. Quantum Dot employs the tiny nanocrystals to emit bright light in a range of colors. BioPixels provides coatings and metal alloys for the semiconductor nanocrystals that reduce their toxicity in organisms. By offering both organic and inorganic labeling and detection technologies, Invitrogen is putting more tools in the hands of researchers.”