Bruker AXS SMART™ X2S Automated Chemical Crystallography System Wins Prestigious R&D 100 Award : Bruker to Give Live SMART X2S Demonstrations at IUCr 2008 in Osaka, Japan

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Bruker AXS today announced that its SMART X2S automated chemical X-ray crystallography system has been awarded a R&D 100 award, recognizing it as one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year. The R&D 100 Award winners are selected by an independent panel of judges and the editors of R&D Magazine. “The winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year,” explained Martha Walz, R&D Magazine Editor-in-Chief.

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Winning the R&D 100 award is a tremendous recognition for our development team. The SMART X2S departs from traditional crystallographic instrumentation with the integration of innovative robotics, X-ray detector, source and software development. This instrument will add x-ray crystallography to the collection of standard research tools for synthetic chemists.

Traditional X-ray systems for 3D molecular structure determination are floor-standing, require significant infrastructure and typically are installed in specialist crystallography centers. While molecular structure information is of tremendous benefit for chemists, the need for trained crystallographers has made access to structural information unavailable for many chemists. Often they need to send samples away to an off-site crystallography service laboratory and wait days for the results, or they simply forego structural confirmation at certain stages of research.

The SMART X2S for the first time allows inorganic and organic chemists to produce atomic resolution, 3D molecular structures in their own laboratories quickly and easily at the touch of a button. The SMART X2S takes small molecule structure determination to the next level of convenience by automating the previously difficult aspects of X-ray structure determination, from sample loading and alignment through data collection all the way to the mathematical structure solution, structure verification and report generation.

With its small footprint, a weight of less than 150 kg and a requirement of only 0.5 kW of standard single-phase AC power, the benchtop SMART X2S can be installed easily in any academic or industrial chemistry laboratory. The system is air cooled and easily moveable.

The Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility (ABCRF) at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, home to almost 100 researchers at UCC's Chemistry-Biology interface working on areas such as drug discovery, process development, synthetic chemistry, bioanalytical sciences etc., is looking forward to the arrival of the Bruker SMART X2S, adding significant new capability in the characterisation of the solid state structure of pharmaceutical materials. As the ABCRF is uniquely situated at the heart of a major cluster of pharmaceutical companies focused on the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical API's and drug product, extensive interaction and collaboration exists with many of these companies. Four research teams within the ABCRF are members of a national Solid State Pharmaceuticals Strategic Research Cluster, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, linking five universities and ten pharmaceutical companies in Ireland in a major research programme focused on development of a fundamental understanding of crystallisation of pharmaceuticals and learning how this process can be controlled to lead to materials with the desired solid state properties to act as effective therapeutic agents.

Prof. Anita Maguire, Director of the ABCRF, highlighted the strategic opportunity presented by securing the new SMART X2S system, which will enable hands-on routine access to X-ray crystallography to a large and diverse team of researchers focused on synthetic inorganic, organic, medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry, thereby enabling them to secure structural data on their compounds much more rapidly than would be possible through a traditional service provided by a dedicated X-ray crystallographer. This high throughput approach will provide the opportunity to study the physical properties of a very wide range of organic materials synthesised in the ABCRF. From the perspective of the researchers, this will ensure that PhD graduates in synthetic chemistry will gain hands-on experience in X-ray crystallography which would not have been possible without this walk-up desktop instrument, providing them with a very valuable skill and insight which will underpin their future careers in the pharmaceutical sectors. One of the key attractions of this instrument is that it will enhance our research collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry as the area of crystallisation is a very high priority in the sector.

Dr. Simon Lawrence, X-ray crystallography in UCC, stated that with the new SMART X2S instrument X-ray crystallography enters the hands-on analytical realm already well established in relation to NMR and LC-MS, and therefore becomes much more accessible to the wider chemical community of researchers than heretofore. For the first time, the SMART X2S allows undergraduate students hands-on access to X-ray crystallography, thereby demystifying this technique and bringing it to the fore as a key analytical tool.

Dr. Michael Ruf, Director of Marketing for Chemical Crystallography and Development Manager for the SMART X2S stated: "Winning the R&D 100 award is a tremendous recognition for our development team. The SMART X2S departs from traditional crystallographic instrumentation with the integration of innovative robotics, X-ray detector, source and software development. This instrument will add x-ray crystallography to the collection of standard research tools for synthetic chemists."

Since its introduction at Pittcon 2008, Bruker AXS has equipped its demonstration laboratories in Madison, Wisconsin (USA) and Yokohama (Japan) with SMART X2S systems, and has performed numerous successful customer demonstrations. To schedule a live demo, please contact: x2slivedemo@bruker-axs.nl

Bruker AXS will also demonstrate a fully functional SMART X2S at IUCr 2008 (XXI Congress of International Union of Crystallography, http://www.iucr.org) in Osaka in late August 2008.

ABOUT BRUKER AXS: For more information about Bruker AXS and Bruker Corporation (NASDAQ: BRKR), please visit http://www.bruker-axs.com and http://www.bruker.com.

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Michael Willett
Bruker Corporation
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