PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 29 -- Agilent Technologies Inc., a maker of test and measurement equipment with applications in electronics, communications, life sciences and chemical analysis, today announced that it has acquired privately held Molecular Imaging Corp., a manufacturer of nanotechnology measurement tools. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Based in Tempe, Ariz., Molecular Imaging is known for its atomic force microscopes (AFMs), the principal imaging and measurement instruments used by researchers working in nanotechnology. Called the "eyes of nanotechnology," AFMs are used to measure the shape and properties of materials at the nanometer scale.
According to Agilent, while it has a solid position in nanometer-scale measurement through the laser interferometer market, the acquisition of Molecular Imaging strengthens its market position by extending it to 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 Div. "Molecular Imaging has premier AFM technology that is the high-performance value leader in the market and is the leader in imaging 'in-situ' samples in their natural state." Nanotechnology is important to Agilent, Burns said, 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, according to Agilent. Molecular Imaging's chief product line is the PicoPlus family of modular, high-resolution AFMs, which are used by researchers for high-resolution imaging in fluids, as well as ambient and controlled environmental and temperature conditions, in the areas of drug discovery, life science, electrochemistry, materials science and polymer science.
Professor Stuart Lindsay and Tianwei Jing from Arizona State University (ASU) founded Molecular Imaging in 1993. The company has had a continuous relationship with ASU and its Lindsay Laboratory since then. Because of the strong ties between Molecular Imaging and ASU, Agilent says it has no plans to move Molecular Imaging operations from the Tempe area, and that Molecular Imaging employees have joined Agilent.
For more information, visit: www.agilent.com