Last Updated on
July 22, 2022
As the name suggests, Sony Biotechnology, Inc. is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation.
Founded in 1995, Sony Biotechnology is based in San Jose, California, with affiliate offices in Europe, Japan, and China and distributors in over 15 countries worldwide.
Although it’s relatively younger than other biotech equipment providers, Sony Biotechnology is well known for its innovative approach to biotech instruments. They are a highly-decorated company, having won several awards for their achievements and products, and are also quite popular for their webinars as well.
Sony Biotechnology focuses specifically on flow cytometers for scientific research and discovery for biotechnology companies, medical centers, and other research institutions in the life sciences industry. The three main instrument categories it offers are spectral cell analyzers, cell sorters, and reagents.
Sony Biotechnology’s spectral cell analyzers use Sony’s patented optical technologies to overcome the problem of measuring multiple fluorescence emissions on flow cytometers.
Besides its ability to achieve a more accurate visualization of the fluorescent emission, spectral cell analyzers can separate the fluorophores into pure signals by dividing the spectral fingerprints. This is a process called unmixing, and it produces pure signals that can be used for more accurate data analysis later on.
Sony Biotechnology offers three distinct cell analyzers, each with its own unique features. Let’s start with the most recent product.
The ID7000™ Spectral Cell Analyzer is a high-parameter spectral analyzer. Since its release in June 2019, it has received the Good Design Award 2020 and a nomination for SelectScience’s Scientist Choice Award 2020.
It uses seven lasers ranging from 320 nm (deep ultraviolet) to 808nm (infrared) and 186 detectors to capture your cells’ fluorescence emission. Since the system collects the entire spectrum of light, you’ll be able to separate fluorochromes into pure signals and get more accurate data than you will with traditional flow cytometers.
The SA3800 Spectral Analyzer emphasizes its automation and workflow simplicity. The system’s automation, present across all features, along with easy-to-use software, makes the SA3800 easy to learn and use, even for beginners.
It uses four lasers, ranging from 420 nm (yellow-green) to 800 nm (red). While that’s not as much as the ID7000™ Spectral Analyzer, the range is enough to do a comprehensive cell analysis and get more accurate data than traditional flow cytometers.
The SP6800 Spectral Analyzer has the lowest amount of lasers among Sony Biotech’s cell analyzers. It has only three excitation lasers, 405nm, 488nm, and 638nm, and can support up to 16 fluorescent parameters.
What’s unique about the SP6800 Spectral Analyzer is its standardization feature, which lets a network of analyzers across different sites use a global setting. If you’re doing a collaborative project or a long-term study, this feature will help eliminate inconsistent data caused by instrument variability and setup subjectivity.
Sony Biotechnology’s cell sorters use a patented microfluidic chip-based design with comprehensive fluidic control and advanced automation. These three factors make your cell sorting process with Sony Biotechnology less subjective and more reliable.
The MA900 Multi-Application Cell Sorter offers four laser options in two beam spots with up to 12 fluorescence parameters and up to four-way sorting. This spec allows you to use the MA900 for most sorting use cases.
The automation features integrated into the MA900’s system make the product easy to use with reproducible results. The automation features available include:
The FX500 Exchangeable Fluidics Cell Sorter allows you to replace the fluidics path and control sample-to-sample carryover. The replaceable fluidics system itself consists of several consumables: an E-beam irradiated sorting chip, the PEEK sample line, and a gamma-irradiated sheath line assembly.
The FX500 Exchangeable Fluidics Cell Sorter allows you to use the 70μm and 100μm sorting chips, which means you can use it for sorting a wide range of cell sizes.
It has three colinear excitation lasers, six detectors, and two-way sorting. The automation feature is also comparable to MA900’s features, simplifying your workflow.
You can use the SH800S Cell Sorter for most applications, as it allows you to use three sizes of microfluidic sorting chips: 70μm, 100μm, and 130μm. This sorter offers four excitation laser options with six fluorescence parameters and two-way sorting.
The combination of an intuitive system and advanced automation also makes this cell sorter very easy to use. It’s equipped with a high-speed signal processing function that, in turn, allows the SH800S cell sorter to have a high level of accuracy.
The KIRAVIA dyes™ is a fluorescent dye developed by Sony Biotechnology usable for both conventional flow cytometers and spectral flow cytometers.
Currently, the available dye is the KIRAVIA Blue 520™, which can be excited using a 488 nm laser and a maximum emission at 520 nm. According to Sony Biotechnology, KIRAVIA Blue 520™ can replace fluorochromes using the 530/30 detector. It’s also shown that KIRAVIA Blue 520™ is much brighter than similar solutions, making it easier to identify.
Reagents are needed in flow cytometry to mark the cells you want to analyze. There are numerous fluorescent reagents you can use as dyes in flow cytometry, including fluorescently conjugated antibodies.
Sony Biotechnology offers various reagents for your flow cytometry processes as well, including buffers, cocktails, antibodies, and isotype controls.
However, the biggest selection of reagents Sony offers are their antibodies, which are divided into three categories: anti-human antibodies, anti-mouse antibodies, and anti-non-human primate antibodies.
Unfortunately, Sony Biotechnology currently doesn’t have a preventive maintenance service team readily available. However, you can still have a maintenance consultation through phone, email, or an on-site service visit.
During installation, the Field Application Specialist (FAS) will walk you through the preventive maintenance routine and best practices you need to follow. Consumable components are also available for purchase through Sony Biotechnology’s website.
The number of instrument options Sony Biotechnology provides is small if you compare them to other providers. However, the products Sony Biotechnology launched are high-quality equipment with innovative concepts and excellent automation features that help you focus on the subject instead of the tool.
Its specialization in flow cytometry also means that Sony has in-depth experience and knowledge of the technique, and offers some of the best product options for flow cytometry in the life sciences and healthcare industries.
While purchasing may seem like a sound option, the upfront cost of owning high-end, cutting-edge technology should not be taken lightly.
If you want access to innovative products like Sony’s, but you’re focused on saving some money at the same time, leasing the product is a much better choice.
Compared to purchasing, leasing is a much more feasible alternative. When you lease through Excedr, you get to reinvest in other core areas of your business while simultaneously gaining access to high-quality equipment at a fraction of the price.
Let us know if you’d like to use this opportunity to spend less money upfront, take advantage of flexible lease terms, and efficiently upgrade your systems on the off-chance of obsolescence. We’ll also help you with procurement, the administrative work involved, as well as preventive maintenance. Acquire and upgrade lab equipment more easily by leasing through Excedr today.