On August 3rd, Shimadzu Corporation (President & CEO: Teruhisa Ueda, hereinafter Shimadzu) and HORIBA, Ltd. (President & COO: Masayuki Adachi, hereinafter HORIBA) concluded a basic agreement to commence collaboration on the development and sales of LC-Raman analytical and measuring instruments that combine Shimadzu’s high-performance liquid chromatographs (HPLCs, hereinafter LCs) with HORIBA’s Raman spectrometers.
The two companies will combine their powerful technologies to support new developments in medicine and health care, life sciences, materials research, the environment and new energy, and various other fields.
Shimadzu’s LCs and HORIBA’s Raman spectrometers each have the largest share* of their respective markets in Japan. LC-Raman systems will combine technologies fostered by the two companies, with the LC efficiently separating components from mixed samples and the Raman spectrometer performing qualitative and quantitative measurement of compounds separated by the LC. Conventional Raman spectrometers have been limited to qualitative and quantitative measurement of components in the range of several hundreds of ppm, but by using an LC to separate components and by spotting samples on a plate then concentrating to dryness, the companies aim to detect trace components at 1 ppm or below. The companies will also jointly develop integrated software for LC-Raman systems that allow seamless operation from sample introduction to analysis.
Prof. Haruko Takeyama of the School of Advanced Science and Engineering at Waseda University will also play a role, with the three parties planning to collaborate in the joint development of applications.
*Internal investigation by respective companies
Comments from Prof. Haruko Takeyama, School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Rapid and accurate analysis of biomolecules is essential in many areas of life science that are currently of particular interest, such as healthcare, medicine, and pharmaceuticals. Liquid chromatography is already a powerful technique in widespread use across the life sciences, and Raman spectroscopy is beginning to be adopted for the analysis of a variety of different intracellular substances. The idea of combining the strengths of these two techniques shows great promise for improving the accuracy of molecular analysis and the discovery of novel substances. With the recent growing interest in open innovation and cooperation between industry, government, and academia, this collaboration, which brings together the major technologies of Shimadzu and HORIBA for the purpose of scientific and technological development, presents a highly significant and meaningful move by these leading providers of analytical instruments. I look forward to rapid results from this collaboration that will advance healthcare technology and support the development of new drugs, which is an area of pressing concern.
Shimadzu will be responsible for development and sales of LCs, LC peripherals, and the software that will make LC-Raman systems a practical reality. Since first moving into the field of LCs in 1972, Shimadzu has upheld its corporate philosophy of “Contributing to Society through Science and Technology” not only by improving the performance and functionality of its LC systems and software, but also by conducting technological research involving state-of-the-art science and by developing applications in a wide variety of fields, including life sciences, food, chemicals, the environment, and clinical services. Shimadzu continues to inspire confidence in its LC technology and related products among its customers globally, and looks forward to the challenge of combining its LC technology with Raman spectrometers to develop wholly new analytical and measuring instruments that fulfill new market needs.
HORIBA will be responsible for development and sales of Raman spectrometers and the software that will make LC-Raman systems a practical reality. HORIBA will utilize its profound knowledge of Raman spectrometers and strength in data analysis technology cultivated through many years of business, and will take advantage of being an analytical and measuring instrument manufacturer producing a stable supply of high quality products to work towards the rapid development of LC-Raman systems. Furthermore, HORIBA will aim to develop fully automated measuring instruments with intuitive controls that are easy to operate even with no specialist knowledge of spectroscopy.
These activities will mainly be promoted under the Bio/Life Science Project, which was newly established by HORIBA after organizational changes in April this year.
High-performance liquid chromatograph: An instrument or system that performs high-performance liquid chromatography. Separation process of the multiple components is performed on a column. The sample is introduced to the column, solvent is continuously passed through the column to separate the sample components inside the column, then components from the column are detected by a detector that measures qualitative and quantitative attributes about each component.
Absorbance detector: A detector suitable for compounds that absorb light that is used to measure UV absorbance and acquire the UV spectra of target compounds.
Raman spectrometer: An instrument that detects Raman scattering caused by a sample and uses the scattered light to identify the molecular structure and evaluate the physical properties of the sample.