FUJIFILM Dimatix Collaborates with Agilent in Advanced Life Sciences Applications

FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc., recently 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, which works in technology for 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, 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,” says John Higginson, VP of 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.

Bill Peck, Agilent's senior engineer and Writer Technology project manager, says, “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’s advanced inkjet technologies allow our products to flexibly deliver the superior quality our customers expect from Agilent microarrays.”

Martin Schoeppler, Fujifilm Dimatix's VP of marketing and sales, notes, “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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