NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bruker said today it has signed an exclusive patent license agreement with 3M Company that allows it to include in its products patented 3M technology related to MALDI mass spec imaging.
The licensed patents cover a technique for performing mass spec analysis on proteins in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue.
Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MALDI imaging was originally developed for analyzing fresh, frozen tissue, but as the method becomes more commonly used for investigating clinical samples, the ability to analyze FFPE tissue is increasingly desirable.
"FFPE tissue is particularly important for the analysis by MALDI imaging because of the large available archives of such tissue with patient follow-up data and the possibility to use tissue microarrays for the analysis," Hartmut Schlϋter, a professor at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, said in a statement.
Schlϋter recently published a study analyzing more than 1,000 FFPE prostate cancer samples using Bruker's MALDI Molecular Imager product.
"FFPE tissue is the standard for histopathological diagnosis," he added. "Any future diagnostic application of MALDI imaging will likely need to be established on FFPE tissue."
"The interest in the analysis of FFPE tissue by MALDI imaging is increasing strongly," Soren-Oliver Deininger, market manager for MALDI imaging at Bruker, said in a statement. "Bruker has developed innovative technology to make MALDI imaging viable in histopathology by the integration of virtual microscopy and the possibility to classify tissue based on the molecular phenotypes. Our license agreement with 3M shows our ongoing commitment to the MALDI imaging field, and gives our customers the necessary freedom to conduct their research and advance the field."