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Lumencor Introduces Next Generation Smart Light Engines for Bioanalytical Instrument Manufacturers and Researchers

Lumencor, a biotechnology company developing lighting solutions for the life sciences, announced today its smart light engines for bioanalysis. This new generation of lighting for biotech is currently available for Beta testing at select labs in the US and Europe.

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Stable, high quality light sources are critical to the performance of today’s life science tools.

Beaverton, Oregon—June 25, 2008—Lumencor™, a biotechnology company developing lighting solutions for the life sciences, announced today its smart light engines for bioanalysis. This new generation of lighting for biotech is currently available for Beta testing at select labs in the US and Europe. Lumencor’s light engines are designed to replace traditional light sources. They meet the needs of manufacturers developing bioanalytical instruments and scientists involved in advanced research and diagnostic testing.

According to Steven Jaffe, Ph.D., Lumencor CEO and founder, “The life science industry is undergoing fundamental change. Researchers are placing greater demand on their analytical equipment for increasingly sensitive and specific analyses. They are designing smaller, more mobile analytical instruments with flexible, high performance light sources. Lumencor’s smart light engines meet this need.”

Light Sources Are Critical to Bioanalytical Research and Instrument Design.

Light sources are powerful tools in bioanalysis. Their performance is typically so critical as to define the analytical capability of the instruments in which they are employed. Lasers, metal halide lamps, and LED’s are used today. Lasers are bright; however, they offer limited colors and are most typically expensive to employ. Metal halide lamps offer a broad spectrum of bright light, yet that output requires costly filters, generates too much heat and is notoriously unstable. Low cost LED’s are popular but emit relatively little power in a significant part of the visible spectrum, namely green and yellow. Bundling LEDs for enhanced power increases cost with little or no performance gain. As the life sciences industry develops new tools to uncover nature’s important biomarkers, including enzymes, proteins and genes, high performance light sources are increasingly vital to the endeavor.

Why is the Lumencor light engine smart?

Ideally, a bioanalytical light source should provide easy modulation, switching between colors and among light intensities. It should provide high power, spectral purity and stability, and be durable. This would support the most robust, quantitative analyses. Lumencor’s smart light engines offer all these attributes. They exceed the performance of traditional light sources for the complete suite of performance traits including cost. In so doing, Lumencor’s light engines enable opportunities for the design of more accurate and specific bioanalytical tools to advance today’s research and development.

Examples of the need for high performance lighting in biotech abound.

A technology called quantitative-PCR is often used to measure the amount and identity of DNA samples. Most tools for quantitative-PCR would benefit from switchable, stable, powerful multicolor illumination without the need for mechanical wheels and shutters to modulated the light.

Lab-a-chip technologies for automating and miniaturizing bulk laboratory processes like separations, mixing, conversion chemistries and detection reactions are carried out in arrays of wells and microchannels. They can mimic bulk laboratory practices as well as provide unique capabilities such as gene expression analyses which can only be done on the micro and nano scale. These chips can be even more demanding than sequencing and PCR in terms of illumination intensity.

Whole cells are often studied and characterized via flow cytometry. Analyses are carried out in a flow stream used to separate individual cells. Providing sufficient light into such small volumes is a significant technical challenge.

Finally, optical microscopes for fluorescence detection in tissues, cells or intact specimens remain the workhorse of any biology laboratory. They require uniform, stable light and their intensity requirements are essentially defined by the objective and the illumination area under interrogation. Compromises are often made in terms of employing costly filtering components, shutters, and/or multiple lasers for sufficient brightness.

These are all problems Lumencor’s smart light engines are designed to resolve. In addition, a host of new strategies for identifying, characterizing and understanding biomarkers of disease, drug targets and therapeutic response will continue to place increasing demands on the performance and cost of lighting for biotech. Lumencor looks to mature it’s “next generation” light technology to support the evolution of these new tools.

Applications include DNA sequencing, quantitative PCR, lab-a-chip technologies, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy for live cell imaging. Each technology requires pure, bright, stable, uniform light: In the most commonly employed commercial DNA sequencers Argon ion lasers are used to simultaneously irradiate an array of up to 96 capillaries. But the laser is compromised in terms of color balance, intensity and its ability to address each capillary with light of similar quality and intensity.

Lumencor, Inc.

Lumencor is a Beaverton, Oregon-based device manufacturer developing novel light engines for the life sciences industry. Lumencor light engines provide high quality solutions for lighting subsystems employed by life science instrument manufacturers, bioanalytical researchers and scientists with a high power, low cost, spectrally pure and stable light source. The units are designed to simply replace today’s light subsystems as well as for tomorrow’s small, portable analyzers. For more information about Lumencor, including a technology white paper, go to the website at:

Lumencor Contact:

Claudia B. Jaffe, Ph.D., Vice President of Business Development

T 503.530.1008


™The Lumencor name, logo and devices are trademarks of Lumencor, Inc., Beaverton, Oregon.