The news ties in with the Japanese launch of the newest member of the series, the high-end sam®X, at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan (December 13-16). sam® systems provide a step-change in biosensor technology and applications, offering new capabilities for studying real-time kinetics on the surface of live mammalian cells. The new sam®X expands the flexibility, power and throughput available via an increase in the number of analysis channels and new adaptable microfluidic routing. ACOBIO K.K., which is owned by the Altair Corporation, was established in December 2011 to distribute innovative life science products in Japan.


Mr Eiji Takagi, former President of Biacore K.K. and new President of ACOBIO K.K., said: “Using our extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, ACOBIO’s mission is to make innovative life science technology and products from across the globe available for use by academia and industry in Japan. We are particularly pleased to have signed this agreement with SAW Instruments, as the company’s novel range of sam® biosensors open up new avenues for studying molecular interactions on the surface of mammalian cells.” Unlike other cell-based detection platforms, sam® acoustic biosensors do not require any fluorescent labelling, are real-time rather than steady-state, and can use unfixed cells adhered to the sensor surface or in suspension, all while providing rapid analysis in the order of only a few minutes.


Dr Markus Perpeet, Managing Director of SAW Instruments, commented: “We are very pleased that our innovative sam® systems, which have already proven highly popular with researchers in Europe and the US, will now be available in Japan, and encourage Japanese researchers to see our new sam®X biosensor in action by visiting the ACOBIO K.K. booth at the Molecular Biology Society of Japan meeting.” The new system offers increased throughput with two sensor chips, rather than the single chip of the sam®5 models, subsequently increasing the number of available channels to eight. Using sophisticated fluidics, each channel can now be utilised independently (8 x 1) or via sequential combinations of 4 x 2, 2 x 4, or 1 x 8 channels, optimising user workflow and facilitating flexible assay design. Like the other members of the sam® family, the sam®X is ideal for measuring binding constants and kinetics at the surface of whole mammalian cells, as it generates highly accurate results significantly faster than similar equilibrium-based methods.


For more information on the sam®X and the sam® family of biosensors, visit the ACOBIO K.K. stand at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan, or go to


Notes on the technology

Surface Acoustic Wave technology is based on the ability of a wave of energy to travel across the surface of a material. Each surface has a typical inherent elasticity affecting the way the energy of the wave dissipates as it travels across the surface of the material being analysed. Thus, the nature of the surface in question, and therefore any changes to it, can be assessed by sensors monitoring the behaviour of the wave as it propagates across the surface. In particular, changes in mass result in alterations to the phase of the wave, whilst viscoelastic and conformational characteristics influence wave amplitude. The technology developed and employed by SAW instruments is capable of accurately interpreting this information in order to provide real time readouts measuring binding and conformational changes in the samples through which the wave passes.