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Agilent Technologies to present novel methods for sensing nanoscale binding events with atomic force microscope


Capability allows study of biological processes at nanometer scale

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 4, 2006, Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that Dr. W. Travis Johnson, Life Sciences Applications manager, will present a paper on innovative techniques for using scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) and atomic force microscopes (AFMs) in the study of biological phenomena. The talk will take place May 10, at 4 p.m. ET, at the Nanotech 2006/Bio Nano 2006 conference in Boston, Mass.

Johnson will discuss TREC -- Topography and RECognition -- a powerful, SPM/AFM imaging mode that combines molecular-scale imaging with the sensitivity of a piconewton-scale single molecule biosensor.

The study of nanoscale binding events offers scientists the ability to look at primary events in a variety of biological phenomena, from DNA replication and RNA transcription to immune response, tissue growth, cellular differentiation, and the action of drugs, hormones and toxic substances. TREC combines simultaneous, real-time detection of molecular recognition events and single-molecule sensitivity with the imaging capability of the AFM. Commercially available, Agilent’s PicoTREC is a powerful tool for the life sciences, biophysics, materials and polymer sciences, nanotechnology, and 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, and 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 Bob Burns, vice president of the Nanotechnology Measurements Division at Agilent. “New developments in these fields are dependent to a large extent on an improved understanding of 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.”

Agilent will feature products from its portfolio of nanomeasurement tools at booth 910 in the Nanotech 2006 exhibit hall. The display will include parametric testers used in R&D for the electrical measurement and characterization of nanoelectronic devices, and SPMs/AFMs used for molecular and atomic-level imaging.

Nanotechnology is important to Agilent because it is a common denominator between the two chief areas of the company’s business: electronic measurement and bio-analytical measurement. Agilent was recently selected by the Crolles2 Alliance to provide Agilent 93000 Pin Scale testers and 4073 advanced parametric testers for research, development and industrialization of CMOS process technologies and the development of test software and hardware aimed at best-in-class test capabilities for nanotechnology engineering and industrial applications. Agilent SPMs and AFMs are used by leading nano scientists worldwide to see, move and manipulate at nanoscale.

Additional Information

More information about the following products is available online:

* Agilent’s Scanning Probe Microscopes:
* Agilent’s Parametric Test equipment:
* AFMs:

Read more about Nanotech 2006/Bio Nano2006 at
About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue $5.1 billion in fiscal 2005. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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