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Posted: Nov 08, 2010
Agilent Technologies and Harvard's Wyss Institute Announce Collaboration to Advance Biologically Inspired Engineering
(Nanowerk News) Agilent Technologies Inc. and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University today announced an agreement to work together to develop innovative tools, technologies and instruments that will advance human health and improve the environment.
"Agilent is very pleased to collaborate with the Wyss Institute as we share a strong commitment to innovation, interdisciplinary contribution, and high-impact research," said Darlene Solomon, Agilent chief technology officer. "Wyss offers access to visionary researchers and physicians collaborating on enabling technology platforms to address some of the world's most significant technological and societal challenges."
The Wyss Institute operates as an alliance among premier academic and clinical institutions in the Greater Boston area, bringing together world-renowned scientists, engineers and physicians to explore the design principles used in nature, and to apply their insights to engineer new materials and devices for medicine, industry, and the environment. Agilent is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in life sciences, chemical analysis, electronics and communications.
Under the multi-year agreement, Agilent will provide financial support, unique tools and materials to support Wyss' biomaterials evolution, programmable nanomaterials and biomimetic microsystems platforms. Agilent also will contribute its technical expertise to the collaboration.
Wyss Institute researchers leading the collaboration include its founding director, Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard's schools of Medicine and Engineering and Children's Hospital Boston; and three other Wyss core faculty members: Harvard Medical School professor George Church, Ph.D.; Boston University professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator James J. Collins, Ph.D.; and William Shih, Ph.D., associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
"We're very proud to partner with a company that -- like us -- constantly looks to the future, and measures the success of its technological innovations in terms of the impact they have on people's lives and the entire global community," said Ingber. "The enormous synergies between our expertise and technical capabilities, combined with our shared vision for the future of life sciences and engineering, should enable us to create transformative new technologies and research tools that will accelerate development of clinical diagnostics and therapeutics, and utterly change the way we harness energy in the future."
As a state-of-the-art laboratory focused on technology development and translation in diverse research disciplines ranging from medicine to bioenergy, Wyss will become a center of excellence to help advance Agilent's extensive measurement capabilities. Wyss will be equipped with Agilent's unique products and know-how in areas ranging from nanobiotechnology to electronics and automation.
Through its collaboration with pioneers in the fields of synthetic biology and programmable nanomaterials at the Wyss Institute, Agilent aims to identify new high-value applications and challenges, as well as to advance its already powerful technological capabilities in genome engineering and nanobiotechnology. In the newly emerging field of mechanobiology, the Agilent/Wyss collaboration will develop new integrated force analysis and imaging capabilities that combine advanced optics and nanomechanical measurements. The goal is to provide deeper insights into the way physical forces and the mechanical properties of living tissues influence cell behavior and contribute to the onset and progression of diseases such as cancer.