Life Technologies Corporation

Company Background

Life Technologies Corporation emerged as a global life sciences company in 2008 through the combined acquisitions of Invitrogen Corporation and Applied Biosystems, Incorporated (1). The company is responsible for producing a wide range of biotechnological products and services for both the research community and commercial markets (2). Invitrogen, whose previous procurements of Quantum Dot Corporation and Biosource International were also acquired by Life Technologies in the 2008 transaction, is now featured as a brand of DNA reagents and consumables within the corporation. In 2010, Life Technologies procured Ion Torrent Systems Incorporated, which formed another brand of the company, focusing on DNA sequencing using semiconductor technology (1). The Ion Torrent brand lies within the Genetic Systems division of the company, a sector dedicated to next generation sequencing systems and reagents including capillary electrophoresis products and the Applied Biosystems SOLiD System for genome sequencing and expression profiling (5).

The company serves a range of purposes in the nanotechnology value chain, from manufacturer of nanomaterials and nanointermediates to creator of finished products using its nano-enabled technologies. Firstly, Life Technologies is responsible for providing unprocessed quantum dot technologies using the assets gained by their ancillary procurement of Quantum Dot Corporation (3). The company also produces a range of nanointermediates utilizing these technologies, offering customized variations of the nanocrystal conjugates featuring different additives as well as kits for using the nanomaterials in applications including antibody conjugation and cell labeling (3). Life Technologies also provides a collection of fully developed medical devices and systems for research and commercial use incorporating their technologies. These nano-enabled products include a next-generation fluorometer for molecular biology researchers and semiconductor-sequencing chips for use in benchtop sequences (1). The company has also developed single molecule sequence (SMS) technology using nanocrystals at its core to improve error profile in such sequencing (5). Lastly, Life Technologies manufacturers RNA preparation kits and LifeScope Genomic Analysis Software optimized for use with Ion Torrent products and systems (6).

Life Technologies has four locations in California, including the headquarters in Carlsbad, and three other locations in Benicia, Foster City and Pleasanton (2).

Suppliers and Buyers

Buyers of their nanomaterials, i.e. quantum dot technology, include pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as academic researchers for use in life science applications such as in vitro and in vivo cell imaging, flow cytometry, tumor margin detection, and protein labeling and detection (4).

Life Technologies maintains several partnerships key to the production and retailing of their products. In 2009, the company created a licensing and supply agreement with Zymera, Incorporated, a nanobiotechnology company revolutionizing the use of nanocrystal technologies for in vivo imaging and molecular detection. The agreement grants Zymera access to the company’s quantum dot technology for applications in self-illumination technology and further biosensing applications (7). Also in 2009, the company announced a cross-licensing agreement with Nanosys, Incorporated, an advanced architected materials company, for application of their quantum dot technology in counterfeit goods trade. The arrangement allows Nanosys to apply Life Technologies’ fluorescent nanoparticles to tracking their materials and better managing product shipments (4).

For more information, see the Life Technologies' location page.


  1. Life Technologies (2012). Retrieved from
  2. Life Technologies (2011). Annual Report for 2011. Retrieved on November 2, 2012 from
  3. Nanowerk (2008, January 14). "Life Technologies Launches Next-Generation DNA and RNA Quantitation System." Retrieved from
  4. Nanotech-Now (2009, March 23)."Life Technologies and Nanosys Introduce Anti-counterfeiting Solutions."  Retrieved from
  5. Nanowerk (2002, March 2). "Life Technologies Unveils Single Molecule Sequencing Technology." Retrieved from
  6. AZoNano (2011, January 12)."Life Technologies Announces Series of Innovative Products for DNA Sequencing."  Retrieved from
  7. AZoNano (2009, May 14). "Agreement Broadens Use of Qdot Nanocrystals to Enhance In Viva imaging and Biomarker Discovery." Retrieved from