Instrument Business Outlook (IBO) has announced the winners of the 18th annual IBO Design Awards for excellence in the industrial design of analytical instruments, portable analytical instruments and laboratory equipment. The winners of the 2011 awards demonstrate how industrial design can improve a product’s performance and an end-user’s experience.

The IBO Design Award for analytical industrial design went to Partec’s CyFlow Cube flow cytometer and cell sorter. The clean, crisp appearance of the CyFlow Cube signals sophistication and refinement. The high-quality finish and curved edges give the instrument a "state-of-the-are" look. The stark black-and white colour scheme is subtly accented with a green strip, which also emphasizes the compact footprint and balances the top lid’s crease.

The CyFlow Cube utilizes true volumetric absolute counting for the direct measurement of particles or cell sub-populations. The CyFlow Cube measures 500 x 355 x 470 mm (19.7 x 14.0 x 18.5 in) and weighs 40-50 kg (88.2-100.2 lb), depending on configuration. It features an integrated sheath / waste container, a built-in PC and a 19-in thin-film transistor (TFT) screen that is revealed when the top is flipped open. It also allows for the addition of a sorter and autoloader. A second-layer lid allows for access to the interior for custom configuration using interchangeable optical cubes. Partec worked with Jens Kaschlik at industrial design firm FORMFREUNDE on the system.

As Roland Göhde, CEO of Partec Essential Healthcare and Cytec’s Component Technologies, told IBO: "The main ideas and visions for the CUBE design have been to develop a most cost-efficient but high-performing and most attractively designed, as well as very compact, true stand-alone flow cytometry system – with full integration of all components and modules in a most elegant instrument housing, including the computer hardware, TFT monitor, complete fluidic system, sorting module (optional), etc." A fully integrated flow cytometer, which is the sleek and compact design highlight, is unique to the market, Göhde added.