Press Release Details

Bruker Announces Acquisition of SCiLS GmbH to Advance MALDI Imaging Software Solutions for Life Science, Pharma and Pathology Research Applications

January 4, 2017

BREMEN, Germany, Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Bruker today announced the acquisition of SCiLS GmbH in Bremen, Germany.  SCiLS develops innovative software tools such as statistical analysis software, sophisticated visualization viewers, and secure cloud-based services for collaborative interpretation of complex mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) data sets.  Financial details were not disclosed.

Founded as a spin-off from the University of Bremen, the SCiLS founders have research backgrounds in mathematics, biochemistry, and informatics, positioning SCiLS to offer software tools that translate complex, data-rich mass spectrometry images to accessible information.  Currently, 95% of all MSI data is acquired by label-free MALDI imaging systems.  The combination of SCiLS software and MALDI imaging systems like the Bruker rapifleX high-resolution MALDI-TOF(/TOF), and the solariX XR extreme-resolution MALDI-FTMS, expand the scope of MSI from life-science research to pharmaceutical applications with the Molecular Drug Imager Solution, and to translational pathology research with the MALDI Tissuetyper.

SCiLS software provides advanced tools for data handling and computational analysis of multiple data sets, including full sample cohorts.  It provides instant visualization of m/z based image analysis, including edge-preserving image de-noising and automatic hotspot removal, automated spatial segmentation for annotation of features, pattern extraction, and building classifying models based on training data and classification of new samples.  Recently, SCiLS introduced SCiLS Cloud, where results can be shared and viewed with a web browser through secure access, facilitating collaborative research on a global basis.  The SCiLS products SCiLS Lab, SCiLS Lab 3D, and SCiLS Cloud support MALDI high-resolution data sets, enabling scientists to gain new insights into the spatial distribution of small molecules, metabolites, lipids, proteins and glycans from formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) or fresh-frozen tissue samples.  SCiLS enables comparative analytics for finding biomarkers that discriminate pathophysiological regions (disease, disease adjacent, healthy), and the determination of molecular margins.   Feature extraction techniques make it simple to compare MSI data to conventional H&E-stained FFPE tissue.

Professor Peter Maass, Professor Theodore Alexandrov and Dr. Dennis Trede, the founders of SCiLS, commented: "We are very pleased by the evolution of SCiLS, and now that SCiLS is a part of Bruker's global infrastructure it will make mass spec-based imaging more accessible.  SCiLS has always been a dynamic, innovation-driven company creating computational tools required for the molecular interpretation of MSI data, with the ultimate aim to bridge the gap between advanced research and routine applications. As MSI is rapidly advancing in multiple application areas, we believe SCiLS has set the stage for becoming the de facto standard for mass spectrometry imaging software."

Dr. Rohan Thakur, Executive Vice President at Bruker Daltonics, added: "The combination of the advanced SCiLS software tools coupled with the power of Bruker's high-resolution MALDI imaging systems is an exciting development.  Our goal is to advance the MSI field and enable a deeper understanding of the spatial distribution of various molecules in the disciplines of biomarker discovery, pharma drug tissue distribution studies, all the way to translational research in anatomical pathology and future diagnostic applications."

About the Bruker Molecular Drug Imager Solution

The Molecular Drug Imager Solution makes full use of the solariX XR extreme resolution (10 million mass resolution), enabling scientists to see vital information that is missing in data from other types of mass spectrometers.  Based on Bruker's unique Paracell 7T FTMS technology, this unique solution enables determination of pharmaceutical drug tissue distribution in support of ADMET studies.  The value of extreme resolution is the unmatched confidence for label-free drug and metabolite identification with isotope fine structure (IFS) confirmation.  The FTMS-based Molecular Drug Imager Solution facilitates seamless workflows for spatial localization of small molecules in tissue imaging studies. 

About the Bruker MALDI Tissuetyper

The MALDI Tissuetyper solution uses MALDI-TOF imaging, which is complementary to traditional imaging technologies in histology.  The MALDI Tissuetyper allows pathologists a fast identification of lipids, peptides and proteins in tissue samples.  In contrast to traditional histological tissue analysis, the MALDI Tissuetyper requires neither a molecular probe nor an antibody.  The MALDI Tissuetyper offers multiplex analysis of potential biomarkers in an untargeted approach.  Identification of protein profiles can lead to the discovery of tumor biomarkers for future diagnostic and treatment monitoring strategies.  The MALDI Tissuetyper provides complementary information to immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in many cases can differentiate cell populations that cannot be differentiated by IHC.  It can save valuable biopsy material in cases where only limited tissue sample is available. The MALDI Tissuetyper can be used for biomarker discovery studies, and for multi-marker tissue-typing and classification.  The MALDI Tissuetyper is currently available for research use only.

About Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ: BRKR)

For more than 50 years, Bruker has enabled scientists to make breakthrough discoveries and develop new applications that improve the quality of human life.  Bruker's high-performance scientific research instruments and high-value analytical solutions enable scientists to explore life and materials at molecular, cellular and microscopic levels. 

In close cooperation with our customers, Bruker is enabling innovation, productivity and customer success in life science molecular research, in applied and pharma applications, in microscopy, nano-analysis and industrial applications, as well as in cell biology, preclinical imaging, clinical research, microbiology and molecular diagnostics.  For more information, please visit

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