June 11, 2012 – Tokyo, Japan (Techreleased) – Sony today announced that it will begin taking orders for Cell Sorter SH800 starting this fall. Cell Sorter SH800 is the first ‘flow cytometer’ cell analysis instrument developed by Sony for the optical analysis of cells. This product successfully automates optical alignment and sorting set-up by utilizing Sony’s technologies cultivated in laser optics, such as Blu-ray Disc, and optical discs. In addition, by incorporating a newly developed plastic cell sorting chip, it offers dramatically greater efficiency with measurement tasks.
‘Flow cytometry’ is a method that applies optical measurement to analyze and sort various kinds of cells based on their size, number, exterior surface, and interior content (such as their structure, functions and biomarkers). Flow cytometers play an important role as analytical instruments in the fields of hematology, immunology and oncology, as well as in cutting edge research for regenerative medicine and stem cells, such as iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells and ES (embryonic stem) cells. Flow cytometers are expected to further proliferate as research in these and other clinical areas continues to expand.
Flow cytometers emit laser beams while passing cells through a fine microchannel at high speeds. It then identifies the type and size of various kinds of cells by detecting the weak scattered light and fluorescence that is generated when the cell is illuminated by the laser. This closely resembles the detection principles of optical discs such as Blu-ray Discs, which use laser optics to read the fine irregularities on an optical disc rotating at high speed.
Sony acquired US-based iCyt Mission Technology, Inc. (‘iCyt’) in 2010 and entered the Flow Cytometry business, with the aim to apply its vast audio-visual technologies in the highly anticipated medical and bio fields. Cell Sorter SH800 is the first commercialized product resulting from the combination Sony’s Blu-ray Disc technology and iCyt’s cell-sorting technology.
Unlike regular cell sorters that use expensive fixed quartz components, which must be cleaned after each use, SH800 employs a newly-developed plastic cell-sorting chip in the measuring channel (flow cell), which is based on Sony’s microfabrication techniques cultivated in optical discs. This product also enables the user to select the appropriate chip from different orifice sizes in accordance with the type and size of the cell being measured. In addition, these chips can be easily exchanged and set into the instrument.
SH800 is compact at just one-third the size (55cm width/55cm depth/72cm height) of regular cell sorters manufactured by other companies as it incorporates integrated laser technology and a compact mechanism design. Furthermore, it is relatively more affordable than existing flow cytometers because it satisfies the basic cell sorting functions with a maximum of just four lasers and six color fluorescence detection. Sony recommends this new user-friendly “personal cell sorter” to a wide range of customers in a variety of fields, including individual laboratories that formerly resisted installing flow cytometers due to sheer expense or requirements for specialist operators.
Sony aims to achieve mid- to long-term growth in its medical business, and will strive to expand and strengthen its range of flow cytometers to deliver high-quality, innovative products.
Main features of Cell Sorter SH800
SH800 features fully-automated adjustment of the laser beam optical axis and the electrical timing for sorting, thus eliminating the need for complicated setup procedures and adjustments. Setup is easily accomplished without a specialist operator, thus enabling researchers to dramatically improve their workflow efficiency.
Conventional cell sorters use fixed quartz components in the measuring channel (flow cell). These quartz components are expensive and require exchange and storage of the each orifice (holes that control the fluid flow passed through the channel). Furthermore, the quartz requires cleaning with each use.
Sony’s instrument uses a newly developed plastic cell sorting chip that applies Sony’s optical disc-based microfabrication techniques. The instrument offers multiple kinds of chips to accommodate the different orifice size, thus enabling the user to conveniently select the appropriate chip for the type and size of cell being measured. In addition, the chips can easily be exchanged and fitted in the instrument.
Sony’s cell sorter is compact at just one-third the size (55cm width/55cm depth/72cm height)of regular cell sorters manufactured by other companies as it incorporates integrated laser technology and a compact mechanism design.
SH800 is equipped with the basic functionality required for cell sorting: 4 lasers and 6-color fluorescence detection. This has enabled Sony to curb costs, making SH800 much more affordable than conventional flow cytometers.
- ①Equipped with a laser light source with four wavelengths (405nm, 488nm, 561nm, 638nm) to handle various fluorophores.
- ②Detection of forward and back-scattered light, as well as up to 6 colors fluorescence.
- ③Also equipped with software incorporating a user interface that is easy for anyone to operate, eliminating the need for a specialist operator.
Main specifications of Cell Sorter SH800
*This product is for research purposes only. It cannot be used for diagnoses or treatment.
*VAIO is a registered trademark of Sony Corporation.
Other company and product names used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.