Beckman Coulter

Dr Arnold O Beckman

Dr Arnold O Beckman

If you’re a user of Coulter Counters and the Coulter Principle, you will undoubtedly know something of their inventor, Wallace H Coulter. His name lives on through his many achievements, and in the name of the company that continues to perfect and manufacture Coulter Counters today: Beckman Coulter. I would now like to tell you a little about that company and its founder, Dr Arnold O Beckman.

It was Dr Beckman who, in 1935, introduced the first ever commercially available pH meter. This was a product of his own invention and development, and it became the first of many innovative contributions to science, medicine and industry in the company’s initial 25 years. Among the most notable were the DU spectrophotometer and heliport potentiometer.

By the 1980s and 1990s there had been considerable expansion and further innovation, and the company’s focus had turned to developing laboratory systems that would help in biological analysis. Clinical labs benefited from a constant succession of new solutions based on the latest advances in technology.

Immunoassay joined the list of specialisms in 1996, and then in 1997 the Coulter Counter was added to that portfolio as Beckman acquired the Coulter Corporation and became Beckman Coulter.

The company could now add haematology, flow cytometry and haemostasis equipment to its expanding list of laboratory testing products, whose range exceeded that of any other single source. By acquiring Olympus Diagnostics Systems and its ultra-high throughput clinical chemistry systems in 2009, Beckman Coulter increased its scope both geographically and in terms of product diversity.

To me, Beckman Coulter is associated most obviously with Coulter Counter instruments, dynamic light scattering equipment and various other products and services involved in particle characterisation. But characterising particles is clearly only a small part of the company’s range of specialisms.

The focus for Beckman Coulter continues to be biomedical testing, in which its technology and expertise are used to simplify, automate and improve all kinds of complicated procedures.

Beckman Coulter diagnostic systems are found in hospitals and other medical care environments worldwide. They provide crucial information for diagnosing conditions, deciding on treatments and monitoring the condition of patients.

Beckman Coulter’s products also play a vital role in life sciences, helping researchers to solve biological problems and, in turn, discover the causes of diseases and find new therapies and drugs.

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