John Knowles, Owner
In the pharmaceutical industry, avoiding contamination is a major priority. Drugs tainted with foreign matter can cause adverse side effects in users and lead to costly recalls or lawsuits. It is crucial to the manufacturing process that any contaminants are documented, and that their levels are kept below the specific tolerances deemed safe. Suitable analytical methodologies must therefore be developed to prove that these standards are being met. This can be accomplished with a strategic and methodical approach to identify and document contaminants through certified analytical microscopy techniques.
MicroVision Laboratories, Inc., a veteran owned business, specializes in providing these exact services. The company's client base covers the pharmaceutical sector and a broad spectrum of other industries, including biomedical, semiconductors, aerospace, membrane filtration and industrial hygiene. “We help pharma companies solve R&D, QC and manufacturing problems by providing custom analytical solutions spanning the entire process from product characterization to contaminate identification” says John Knowles, the owner of MicroVision Labs, Inc.
Partnering with companies in all phases of product development, the company offers a highly-trained and experienced staff. The lab is equipped with a powerful set of analytical tools—field emission and scanning electron microscopes (FE-SEM and SEM) with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and backscatter detectors, advanced elemental mapping, X-Ray imaging, Micro-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), micro-X-ray fluorescence (XRF), light microscopy, cross-sectioning/precision polishing, and microhardness testing.
Founded in 2003, Knowles has grown MicroVision Labs to an eight-person, 6000sq/ft. microscopy lab. Being a career microscopist, John places great emphasis on working with pharmaceutical companies to pick the right analyses and methods to solve their problems. “During my 30 years working in the service microscopy field I’ve learned if you really want to help your client you have to understand their overall goal, and not just their more specific analytical goal.
We help pharma companies solve R&D, QC and manufacturing problems from product characterization to contaminate identification
This way you can adjust your approach to help solve their underlying issues or if that is not possible at least set reasonable expectations at the start of the process as to what can be done,” he asserts.
What elevates MicroVision Labs above the competition is not just its extensive expertise in providing micro-analytical techniques; it’s their commitment to helping their customers. “We have amazing instruments, and while it can be fun zooming in on a mosquito's eye or taking x-ray images of your phone, that is nothing compared to solving a customer's problem or viewing a new product breakthrough. We are literally, and figuratively, focused on our clients' success!" says Knowles. He has created a company culture where working one on one with their clientele, innovating new techniques and adapting existing methods to solve their unique challenges is the norm.
MicroVision Labs has proven its commitment to quality by creating an ISO/IEC 17025:2017 compliant quality system that emphasizes continuous improvement of its processes, analytical techniques, equipment and staff. "Our goal is total client satisfaction from the initial determination of needs through the analysis and final reporting. Because of our documented quality process, we guarantee our services meet all our clients’ analytical goals,” states Knowles.
At present MicroVision Laboratories is equipped with three electron microscopes with EDS, a Bruker Lumos micro-FTIR, a Phoenix Industrial X-Ray imaging system, a Bruker M4 Tornado Micro-XRF and nine light microscopes (PLM, DF, BF, DIC, PCM, and Stereo Fluorescence). Amid the pandemic situation, the company has remained open, supporting essential businesses in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, environmental and water purification industries as well as defense contractors. By adding remote imaging they have been able to provide clients with the option of watching and interacting with an analyst as their samples are being analyzed via video conferencing. “New companies are contacting us with projects at a rate I can’t remember seeing before, which is great to see. At the same time most of our existing customers have come back on line and are sending us samples. All this makes me very optimistic about our country’s recovery and my company’s future.” concludes Knowles.