Shimadzu/Kratos and Sony DADC sign new agreement to extend collaboration

Shimadzu/Kratos and Sony DADC sign new agreement to extend collaboration

MALDI targets are required to have both very specific surface properties and tight tolerances in terms of size, and particularly flatness, as any variation in the height of the target can affect the mass accuracy of the resulting spectra. By using the technology that Sony DADC uses to manufacture optical storage media, such as Blu-ray Discs and DVDs, this level of quality can be cost-effectively achieved at extremely high volumes. Such targets are injection moulded from a unique conductive polypropylene formulation, and a metal coating is deposited onto them. In addition to steel, the process allows the possibility for other metals, such as gold, to be deposited to achieve different surface properties.


The first of these targets - Fleximass™ DS disposable MALDI targets - is the culmination of over 4 years of collaboration between Shimadzu and Sony DADC. They consist of a conductive polymer substrate coated with a thin layer of steel. Each target is labelled with a unique barcode. Disposable MALDI targets are highly desirable in many applications; especially where it is essential to ensure that cross-contamination of samples cannot occur. It is also advantageous in such areas to archive samples, and research at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, has shown that samples applied to Fleximass™ DS can be stored safely, at -80°C, for several months.


Although originally developed as part of the iDPlus platform for microbial research, Fleximass DS is also finding application in forensics and imaging applications. Now that Fleximass™ DS targets have been approved for use in regulated markets and are increasingly being adopted as the target of choice in many non-regulated areas, the collaboration between Shimadzu and Sony DADC will increasingly focus on new application areas where targets can be given application-specific properties.


Managing Director of Kratos Analytical Ltd, a Shimadzu Group Company, Kozo Shimazu said “As we move into increasingly regulated markets such as medical devices, the need for labs to cost-effectively eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination, and to ensure a robust audit trail, means that it will no longer be possible to use the old style of re-usable metal MALDI targets. New technologies such as Fleximass™ DS are likely be a significant factor in the choice of systems and development of new workflows and applications. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Sony DADC to develop the technology into exciting new areas.”


“Here at Sony DADC we feel honoured for being selected by an established industry player such as Shimadzu. With Fleximass™ DS, we have demonstrated that the combination of high precision mass manufacturing processes and advanced material science can lead to cutting-edge and differentiating products. We are certain that this development effort is just the beginning of a partnership, which will continue to anticipate market needs and lead to further product innovations," said Dieter Daum, President and CEO of Sony DADC.


About MALDI ToF Mass Spectrometry

In MALDI-ToF, the sample to be analysed is mixed with another compound, called a matrix. The mixture is applied to a MALDI target and a laser fired at it. The matrix absorbs the laser light and vaporises, along with the sample, in the process gaining an electrical charge (ionisation).

Electric fields then guide the ions into the time of flight mass spectrometer which separates them according to ‘weight’ (mass) and displays the results as a series of lines (spectrum) which correspond to different fragments that have broken away from the original molecule. By analysing the pattern of fragments it is possible to deduce the structure of the molecule.


About Shimadzu

Founded in 1875, Shimadzu Corporation, a leader in the development of advanced technologies, has a distinguished history of innovation built on the foundation of contributing to society through science and technology. They maintain a global network of sales, service, technical support and applications centres on six continents, and have established long-term relationships with a host of highly trained distributors located in over 100 countries.

The MALDI Business Unit is part of Kratos Analytical Ltd, based in Manchester in the UK, and has a 60 year pedigree in the design and manufacture of mass spectrometry systems. More information can be found at


About Sony DADC

Sony DADC is a leading disc and digital service provider for the entertainment, education and information industries, offering world-class digital and physical supply chain solutions and software services. Building on the company’s experience in high-precision manufacturing, its mass production capability and supply chain expertise, Sony DADC’s BioSciences division partners with life sciences and diagnostics companies, enabling the industrial manufacturing of smart consumables.
Sony DADC’s global set-up comprises production sites, distribution hubs, digital and service facilities in 19 countries worldwide, including Japan, the US and Europe. For more information please visit


Press Contacts:

Shimadzu/Kratos Media Relations

Dr Andrew N. Eaton
+44 7769 250 454


Sony DADC Media Relations

Christina Schobesberger
+43 6246 880 281