Take an inside look to see what makes LI-COR a global leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of scientific instruments for plant biology, biotechnology, drug discovery, and environmental research.
Who We Are
Providing answers. From the extremes of the rain forests in South America to the harsh conditions of the Antarctic, and to cutting edge research laboratories around the globe, scientists rely on products from LI-COR Biosciences to provide answers to their questions.
LI-COR first introduced scientific instruments for plant science research and quickly grew to provide scientists tools for such diverse disciplines as atmospheric research and the study of how proteins interact at the cellular level.
LI-COR Biosciences is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of high quality, innovative instruments, software, reagents, and integrated systems for plant biology, biotechnology, drug discovery, and environmental research.
Primary research areas include:
More than 30,000 customers in more than 100 countries use LI-COR instruments. In addition to its Lincoln, Nebraska headquarters, LI-COR has offices in Germany and the United Kingdom. The company also sells products through a global network of distributors.
Building upon the strengths of its personnel, LI-COR has grown to include more than 300 employees at its headquarters in Lincoln, NE and subsidiaries in Bad Homburg, Germany and Cambridge, UK. LI-COR instruments are used in over 100 countries worldwide in studies ranging from global climate change to cancer research. LI-COR is a privately held company and is ISO 9001:2008 certified.
In 2009 LI-COR was awarded the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturer of the Year Award. This award recognized LI-COR’s success as a business and service to the Lincoln community. In 2010 LI-COR received Quantum Workplace’s Employee Voice Award for Exceptional Employee Engagement. This award is rated on the employees’ willingness and ability to put forth extra effort toward the benefit of the business, attitude toward the business and longevity with the business. LI-COR also received the 2010 Governor’s Bioscience Award at the Bio Nebraska Life Science Association annual meeting.
In the late 1960s, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln started a large project to develop sorghum as a food product. Bill Biggs was hired to develop research instruments for the project. One of the instruments Bill helped design – an accurate, inexpensive sensor and meter for measuring photosynthetically-active radiation – was described in an article in the journal Ecology. Soon after, scientists from laboratories around the world began requesting similar instruments. In 1971, Bill Biggs co-founded the Lambda Instruments Corporation to manufacture these sensors and other products. The name was formally changed to LI-COR in 1978.
As LI-COR grew, the staff continued developing instruments to supplement the existing line of light sensors, porometers, and spectroradiometers. The explosive growth in DNA fragment analysis and biotechnology research inspired LI-COR's early forays into gene sequencing technology. This led to the development of LI-COR's two product lines: Biotechnology and Environmental. While these product lines are distinct, they share one common element – measuring biological parameters based on the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and physical matter.
The LI-190 and LI-192 Quantum Sensors
The LI-6200, LI-COR's Second Generation Photosynthesis System
The LI-6400XT Portable Photosynthesis System
The LI-7500A Open Path CO2/H2O Analyzer
In the early 1980s, LI-COR developed a portable photosynthesis system. The prototype model, which was described as resembling a bagpipe, was among the first portable photosynthesis systems ever built. LI-COR scientists and engineers found innovative solutions to nearly all the technical challenges of building the instrument, but one problem remained: no company manufactured an infrared gas analyzer with the performance, reliability, and low cost required for a research quality photosynthesis system. LI-COR went to work developing its own infrared gas analyzer, which was used in the second-generation photosynthesis system – the LI-6200 Portable Photosynthesis System.
Because LI-COR developed an infrared gas analyzer that delivered higher performance at lower cost than other commercially available CO2 analyzers at that time, the company made a few minor modifications, added a sensor housing and control panel, and marketed its first stand-alone CO2 analyzer. This was the first-generation instrument in LI-COR's standard setting line of infrared gas analyzers.
Building upon the success of the LI-6200, LI-COR developed the innovative LI-6400 Portable Photosynthesis System. In addition to providing scientists with a robust and reliable instrument, the LI-6400 was developed to support many novel and custom accessories, giving scientists the ability to measure numerous biological parameters that were previously unattainable. The LI-6400 is the most cited photosynthesis system in published scientific journals.
LI-COR infrared gas analyzers have rapidly become the world standard in atmospheric, industrial, and oceanographic research. The innovative LI-7500, an open path CO2/H2O analyzer, was introduced in November of 1999 and the high precision LI-7000 closed path CO2/H2O analyzer followed in 2000. The LI-7500A, an updated version of the LI-7500, was introduced in 2010.
Another versatile, innovative instrument, the LI-8100 Automated Soil CO2 Flux System, delivers highly accurate measurements of soil CO2 flux with minimal alteration of the natural soil microclimate. The system features chambers for making both short-term survey and long-term, unattended measurements. The LI-8100A, an updated version of the LI-8100, was introduced in 2010. In 2009, LI-COR introduced the world's first open path methane analyzer for eddy covariance studies, the LI-7700.
Today, LI-COR is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of high quality, innovative area meters for plant biology and environmental research. LI-COR has been in the leaf area instrumentation business for over 39 years and its instruments are used worldwide in many environmental applications, including agronomy, ecology, plant physiology, plant pathology, carbon cycle studies, and entomology.
The LI-3000C is an area meter that offers fast, non-destructive leaf area measurements, and the LI-3100C is used to measure large amounts of detached leaves. Labor-saving, direct measurements of Leaf Area Index can be made with the LAI-2200.
The LAI-2200 was introduced in 2010 and is based on the proven optical configuration that made the first-generation LAI-2000 a powerful and versatile instrument for decades. The new design offers many improvements on the LAI-2000 platform, including autonomous or wired optical sensor operation to accommodate numerous canopy types and sampling protocols.
The 4000L Long Read Sequencing System
The Odyssey® Infrared Imaging System
The Odyssey® CLx Infrared Imaging System
The Pearl® Near-Infrared in vivo Animal Imaging System
Recognizing the potential of infrared dyes to improve reliability, accuracy, and performance of gene sequencing instruments, LI-COR explored new applications of infrared dye detection. The Model 4000 Automated DNA Infrared Sequencer garnered national attention when it was released in 1992. The 4000L Long Read DNA Sequencing System, introduced a year later, set global standards for long read lengths and accuracy.
In 2001, LI-COR released the Odyssey® Infrared Imaging System. The Odyssey delivers superior two-color Western blots with clear, sharp bands in a fraction of the time and cost of chemiluminescence, and features unprecedented direct detection for a variety of applications, including Western blots, In-Cell Western™ Assays, and protein and DNA gels.
The Odyssey Fc Imaging System premiered in 2010 and offers quantitative Western blot analysis with both near-infrared (NIR) and chemiluminescent detection. It is similar to the original Odyssey in that it allows for two-color scanning with NIR for simultaneous detection of two protein targets or the use of one channel for normalization. The Odyssey Fc offers convenience to labs that use both NIR and chemiluminescent detection methods.
LI-COR also manufactures a diverse line of infrared reagents. IRDye® infrared dyes feature absorption and emission wavelengths in the near-infrared spectrum, between 680 and 800 nm. In 2010, LI-COR expanded its family of BrightSite™ optical agents for in vivo imaging with IRDye 800CW HA Optical Probe. This probe is useful for researchers looking to specifically target the lymphatic system, or tumor cells that over-express CD44 receptors.
The Model 4300 DNA Analysis System was introduced in 2003. The 4300 System now includes comprehensive application packages for DNA sequencing, Microsatellite analysis, AFLP® analysis, reverse genetics (TILLING®), and SNP discovery (Ecotilling).
The Aerius Automated Infrared Imaging System was released in 2004. It was designed to work with automated microplate stacking systems to automate infrared plate-based assays, such as In-Cell Western Assays.
The Odyssey Sa Infrared Imaging System was introduced in 2010. Like the Aerius, Odyssey Sa can process both plate-based assays and quantitative Western blots. It offers walk-away automation, and can be configured to work with a 30- or 50-plate automated stacking system.
The Odyssey CLx Infrared Imaging System was released in 2011. It is the next step in Odyssey infrared imaging technology, with a new AutoScan function that saves time and increases the available dynamic range to greater than six logs. This is the most flexible and multifunctional platform of all Odyssey imaging systems.
The Pearl® Impulse Small Animal Imager was released in 2008 and is used for near-infrared in vivo imaging. Using the Pearl with optical agents from the BrightSite line of optical agents gives researchers the ability to track biological events and disease progression in living animals. This research is valuable for many areas, including apoptosis, angiogenesis, inflammation, and bone growth.
LI-COR established its Translational Research group in 2010 to facilitate the use of its IRDye 800CW labeled imaging agents in clinical studies for detection of disease, its progression, and for monitoring treatment and drug efficacy. IRDye 800CW has been conjugated to a variety of targeting agents by leading molecular imaging laboratories developing translatable agents.
Forty Years of Excellence
Both the Biotechnology and Environmental product lines have diversified over time. LI-COR's expertise with visible and infrared markers has led to the development of numerous instruments and applications in biological research, expanding possibilities in studies of drug discovery and DNA fragment analysis. LI-COR's team of scientists and engineers continue to develop cutting edge instruments that provide researchers and scientists with the tools needed to measure changes in the world today.
LI-COR scientists and engineers remain closely involved with the scientific community by conducting seminars, developing training and educational materials, participating in scientific meetings, and publishing work in leading scientific journals. By maintaining close relationships with academic, governmental, and industrial research institutions, LI-COR develops products that are at the forefront of modern technology for research in the biological and environmental sciences. LI-COR customers are committed to conducting excellent research, and the company's mission is to facilitate this research by providing high quality system solutions and uncompromised customer support.
The LI-COR Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to return thanks to God for His merciful providence in allowing LI-COR to develop and commercialize products, through the collective effort of dedicated employees that enable the examination of the wonders of His works. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5, 6
LI-COR Biosciences is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of high quality, innovative instruments, software, reagents, and integrated systems. These products and our technical support offer solutions and value for customers in plant biology, the life sciences, biotechnology, and environmental research at a fair profit for LI-COR.
We have an uncompromising dedication to integrity, moral principles, the intrinsic worth of individuals, and the value of relationships. We will strive to treat our coworkers, customers, distributors and vendors as we would want ourselves to be treated; that is, with the utmost honesty, fairness, and courtesy.
It has been our intention since the inception of LI-COR to employ the most conscientious, dependable, cooperative, productive, qualified, creative individuals possible. This has led to innovative, reliable and unique products that are appealing to customers, manufactured with efficiency and quality resulting in a fair profit. From this, it naturally follows that our people are our greatest asset and are valued as such.
Each individual's contribution is critical to meeting the customer's needs and achieving LI-COR's goals. Our customers are best served in the long run by fostering an atmosphere of putting others first. This requires teamwork, dedication, personal sacrifice, and innovative thinking with an attitude of "How can I help meet this customer's needs?" on the part of each employee.
Owners and Board of Directors Statement
It is our desire that through the collective efforts of our dedicated employees, LI-COR will develop and commercialize quality products which enable us to provide our employees with a long term future. We foster an atmosphere that encourages seeking God's guidance and help in the strategic planning and tactical execution processes within LI-COR. We entrust the results and future outcome of these efforts of LI-COR's dedicated employees to the Lord, using Proverbs 3:5,6 as an encouraging guideline for this approach - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and do not lean on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."