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Shimadzu and Sony Extend Collaboration to Develop Disposable MALDI Targets

Shimadzu Corporation MALDI Business Unit (Manchester, U.K.) and Sony DADC (Anif, Austria) have extended their collaboration to further develop application-specific, individually-barcoded, disposable MALDI targets for regulated and non-regulated environments.

MALDI targets are required to have both very specific surface properties and tight tolerances in terms of size, and particularly flatness, as any variation in the height of the target can affect the mass accuracy of the resulting spectra. By using the technology that Sony DADC uses to manufacture optical storage media, such as Blu-ray Discs and DVDs, this level of quality can be cost-effectively achieved at extremely high volumes. Such targets are injection moulded from a unique conductive polypropylene formulation, and a metal coating is deposited onto them. In addition to steel, the process allows the possibility for other metals, such as gold, to be deposited to achieve different surface properties.

The first of these targets - Fleximass DS disposable MALDI targets - is the culmination of over four years of collaboration between Shimadzu and Sony DADC. They consist of a conductive polymer substrate coated with a thin layer of steel. Each target is labeled with a unique barcode. Disposable MALDI targets are highly desirable in many applications; especially where it is essential to ensure that cross-contamination of samples cannot occur. It is also advantageous in such areas to archive samples, and research at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, has shown that samples applied to Fleximass DS can be stored safely, at -80°C, for several months.

Although originally developed as part of the iDPlus platform for microbial research, Fleximass DS is also finding application in forensics and imaging applications. Now that Fleximass DS targets have been approved for use in regulated markets and are increasingly being adopted as the target of choice in many non-regulated areas, the collaboration between Shimadzu and Sony DADC will increasingly focus on new application areas where targets can be given application-specific properties.

Managing Director of Kratos Analytical Ltd, a Shimadzu Group Company, Kozo Shimazu said "As we move into increasingly regulated markets such as medical devices, the need for labs to cost-effectively eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination, and to ensure a robust audit trail, means that it will no longer be possible to use the old style of re-usable metal MALDI targets. New technologies such as Fleximass DS are likely be a significant factor in the choice of systems and development of new workflows and applications. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Sony DADC to develop the technology into exciting new areas."

"Here at Sony DADC we feel honored for being selected by an established industry player such as Shimadzu. With Fleximass DS, we have demonstrated that the combination of high precision mass manufacturing processes and advanced material science can lead to cutting-edge and differentiating products. We are certain that this development effort is just the beginning of a partnership, which will continue to anticipate market needs and lead to further product innovations," said Dieter Daum, President and CEO of Sony DADC.


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