Nuclera partners with Sharp Life Science advancing its digital microfluidics capability

February 7, 2024

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Nuclera, a life science tools company, is excited to announce that it has exclusively licensed SLS-EU’s digital microfluidic intellectual property portfolio for AI/ML-enabled cell-free and cell-based protein design and biomanufacturing. SLS-EU is a joint venture founded by Sharp (Sakai, Japan) and Hon Hai Precision Industry (a.k.a. Foxconn) (Taipei, Taiwan) in 2017. This agreement facilitates the development of Nuclera’s second-generation eProtein Discovery™ system that will deliver breakthrough rapid access to highly complex, custom protein reagents.  Such rapid access to proteins will facilitate the acceleration of drug discovery by pharmaceutical companies and university research laboratories around the world.


SLS-EU, which owns pioneering IP in digital microfluidic devices, recognizes that Nuclera is the best company to commercialize SLS-EU’s digital microfluidic IP for protein applications.


Nuclera’s current benchtop system is the first and only product that miniaturizes, simplifies, and automates protein design and protein expression and purification screening, thereby giving bioscientists and engineers the ability to have reliable access to custom protein reagents in less than 48 hours. The partnership with SLS-EU will help Nuclera develop future generations of the eProtein Discovery™ system to provide ever more advanced features to drug discovery researchers.


This agreement further strengthens Nuclera’s ongoing R&D and manufacturing partnership with E Ink, the leading innovator of electrophoretic display technologies, by providing Nuclera and E Ink more technology options to pursue the development of increasingly advanced digital microfluidic devices.


Nuclera operates the world’s most advanced digital microfluidic system for biotechnology applications. Overall, the work with SLS-EU will enable Nuclera to further increase its IP moat around “high resolution” active matrix thin-film transistor based digital microfluidics.  Nuclera will also be able to more effectively develop its second generation eProtein Discovery™ system, an even more advanced platform scheduled to be launched in early 2026. This platform will bring onboard advanced expression capabilities, including eukaryotic and mammalian expression, thereby creating a one-stop shop protein expression platform which further reduces barriers to drug discovery.


Dr. Michael C. Chen, Nuclera’s co-founder and CEO said: “We are delighted to reach an agreement with SLS-EU, a world leader in the life sciences technology equipment industry, to exclusively licence its digital microfluidic IP portfolio. This not only helps us build our eProtein DiscoveryTM roadmap towards an even more advanced platform, but also facilitates the commercialization of our digital microfluidic technologies which means we empower our drug discovery customers to develop better, life-saving therapies faster.”


Dr. Michael D. McCreary, E Ink’s Chief Innovation Officer said: “Both Nuclera and SLS-EU are important technology partners and customers of E Ink.   We are pleased to see this licensing agreement that further enables the success of future generations of Nuclera products by opening access to Nuclera of the SLS-EU microfluidics research portfolio.

Nuclera’s eProtein Discovery™ Cartridge

Nuclera’s eProtein Discovery™ Cartridge