Agilent and Fujifilm Collaborate on Using Nanotechnology Based Inkjet Semiconductor Technology for Life Sciences

Published on March 10, 2008 at 3:27 PM

FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc., today announced its collaboration with Agilent Technologies Inc., to supply Agilent with innovative inkjet products based on the latest semiconductor manufacturing technologies for use in life sciences applications. Agilent, a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis, uses the FUJIFILM Dimatix inkjet technology to develop products that allow life scientists to more efficiently target and analyze sequences of genetic material.

FUJIFILM Dimatix worked with Agilent to incorporate custom versions of the Dimatix Materials Cartridge (DMC) into Agilent’s life sciences applications. Specifically designed for R&D and feasibility testing, the unique cartridge-style printhead based on FUJIFILM Dimatix’ patented Shaped Piezo Silicon™ MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, which enables FUJIFILM Dimatix to develop printhead features and product families that are significantly smaller and more versatile than anything else on the market.

“The shape of our MEMS-based printhead nozzles are extraordinarily precise, and their absolute position on the silicon die permits higher drop placement accuracy over greater throw distances,” said John Higginson, Vice President Engineering, Deposition Products, FUJIFILM Dimatix. “The robust silicon structure also lends itself to solid, reliable operation and long service life – all of which are desirable attributes for building new printer architectures that can improve inkjet’s performance in traditional applications, and out of the box applications such as Agilent’s.”

Because of the extremely small but precise structural geometries it produces, the Shaped Piezo Silicon MEMS fabrication technique enables FUJIFILM Dimatix to manufacture printheads capable of routinely jetting a broad range of fluids with droplet sizes ranging from the 10 picoliters (10 trillionths of a liter) used in precision graphics applications, to droplets containing the 1 pL – or less – that’s required for precision materials deposition of specialty fluids.

Commenting on the innovative technology, Bill Peck, Senior Engineer and Writer Technology Project Manager, Agilent said, “When we are building systems for in-situ synthesis of molecules like DNA, we require a fluid deposition system with outstanding precision, throughput, reliability and control. FUJIFILM Dimatix’ advanced inkjet technologies allow our products to flexibly deliver the superior quality our customers expect from Agilent microarrays.”

“That precision, plus FUJIFILM Dimatix inkjet platform’s flexibility, figured prominently in our decision to base Agilent's SurePrint inkjet technology on FUJIFILM Dimatix inkjet technologies, and also to use their products as the basis for a major new product platform we plan to launch later this year. These actions speak volumes about the reliability of the FUJIFILM Dimatix technology and the solid working relationship Agilent has with FUJIFILM Dimatix in this development effort,” said Dr. Peck.

Martin Schoeppler, Vice President Marketing and Sales, Fujifilm Dimatix noted, “Our relationship with Agilent has helped us advance the state of the art in inkjet technology for applications extending far beyond its original roots in print production, to the outer reaches of materials deposition. Agilent’s use of FUJIFILM Dimatix Shaped Piezo Silicon MEMS technology demonstrates its ability to be applied as easily to life science research as to wide format graphics or printing on textiles. We couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Agilent on this important and demanding application.”

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