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Molecular Imaging Announces PicoTREC™ - World's First Simultaneous Topography and RECognition Imaging System for Atomic Force Microscopy

New label-less molecular recognition tool kit provides single-molecule sensitivity

Molecular Imaging

Tempe, AZ. February 15th, 2004

Molecular Imaging, Corp. today announced PicoTREC™, a Topography and RECognition imaging system. PicoTREC combines real-time detection of molecular recognition events and single-molecule sensitivity with the imaging capability of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). PicoTREC is a powerful tool for the life sciences, biophysics, materials and polymer sciences, nanotechnology, or any field where it is useful to study molecular interactions in real-time. It can be used to image and map binding sites, study biological processes, or probe nanometer-scale areas on a variety of surfaces.

"The ability to view and understand events as they occur at the molecular level will increase our understanding of how systems work and lead to new discoveries in many fields, including life sciences, material sciences, and nanotechnology," said Travis Johnson, Ph.D., Life Science Applications Manager at Molecular Imaging. "New developments in these fields are dependent to a large extent on better understanding how discrete molecular structures interact in molecular binding events. With PicoTREC we can already anticipate advances in pharmacology, polymers and other materials sciences, as well as immunology and bio-compatibility."

"PicoTREC is a breakthrough tool that will allow researchers to pursue new avenues of discovery with AFM," said Vance Nau, Ph.D., President and CEO of Molecular Imaging. "This technology will enable a new category of research for Atomic Force Microscopy."

PicoTREC is used in conjunction with Molecular Imaging's MAC Mode®, the most gentle and precise imaging technique available for AFM. This makes it ideal for extremely soft biological samples and samples in fluids. PicoTREC is also designed to work with samples in many other conditions, such as ambient atmospheres, controlled atmospheres and precisely controlled temperatures therefore it can be used to study a wide range of materials. PicoTREC is a label-less detection methodology, so sensitive samples are not altered by the introduction of radioactive material, fluorescent dyes, or other markers.

PicoTREC speeds selective molecular characterization
PicoTREC improves the speed, sensitivity, and accuracy of recognition and adhesion studies at the molecular level. As a result, it can be used to greatly accelerate existing research or to perform experiments that were not possible before. Dr. Nau added, "It is the only product available that delivers simultaneous topography and recognition imaging information separately and in real-time."

PicoTREC allows the researcher to quickly determine where specific binding interactions occur on a sample. Single molecule binding interactions are detected and processed by PicoTREC and it resolves the signals for recognition interactions from surface topography information. Specific molecules can be attached to AFM cantilevers, making them chemically selective.

For example, when an antibody is attached to an AFM tip it can recognize weak recognition events with its target molecules. PicoTREC can replace the need for tedious and time consuming force-volume experiments. In addition, areas where binding interactions occur can be quickly identified so quantitative force experiments are made easier and faster.

One system does it all - The Pico Family™ of products
PicoTREC is designed for use with Molecular Imaging's Pico Family of products, including the PicoSPM II™ and PicoLE™ AFM microscopes, which offer top-down scanning flexibility and a modular design. PicoTREC is compatible with MAC Mode, PicoTrueTemp™ and Molecular Imaging's powerful open loop and closed loop scanners. It can also be used with an inverted optical microscope or the PicoAPEX™ environmental chamber. The state-of-the-art PicoScan 3000™ or PicoScan 2500™ controllers make Pico one of the most flexible systems available.

Molecular Imaging will showcase PicoTREC at the Biophysical Society 48th Annual Meeting being held February 15th -17th, 2004 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Customers and the press are invited to visit Molecular Imaging's booth #442 at any time during the show. PicoTREC is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2004.

About Molecular Imaging
Molecular Imaging is the premier developer and supplier of tools for Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) including systems, accessories, consumables, software and data management for imaging in ambient air or fluids under controlled temperature and environmental conditions.

We are focused on creating innovative new products and techniques for our customers that will enable new application areas for AFM and SPM in academic and industrial research.

Additional information about Molecular Imaging available here

Product Photo available:

Photos are available for download here

A product flyer is available here


Barbara L. Rice
Worldwide Marketing Communications and Public Relations
4666 S. Ash Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85282

Tel: +1.480.753.4311
Fax: +1.480.753.4312
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