Bangs Laboratories, Inc. manufactures microsphere-based reagents and analytical instrument calibrators for medical diagnostics, biopharma, clinical labs, and other life sciences applications. Founded April 1, 1988 by Leigh and Sonia Bangs, Leigh had been a polymer chemist with the Dow Chemical Company, where polystyrene microspheres were originally developed using emulsion polymerization as part of the WWII-era effort to develop synthetic latex rubber.1 Famously, a sample of synthetic latex (580G lot 3584) was originally imaged at the University of Michigan in 1947, where the uniformity of the particles, and their utility as calibrators for electron microscopy, were discovered.2  

In our first decade, Bangs largely supplied polymer, silica and magnetic microspheres to the in vitro diagnostics industry as particulate supports for solid phase tests and assays. We later began manufacturing dedicated standards for analytical instruments with our acquisition of Flow Cytometry Standards Corporation (FCSC) in 2000. FCSC’s founder, Abe Schwartz, pioneered the development of standards and calibrators for research and clinical flow cytometry.  We are proud to continue the tradition, and to have expanded into standards for cell viability analyzers and particle counters and sizers.

Bangs Laboratories joined forces with Polysciences, Inc. in 2003, and we became a wholly-owned subsidiary at that time. While we operate as independent companies, we also enjoy expanded resources and capabilities, including satellite business offices, terminal sterilization and lyophilization services, novel matrices (biodegradable, biocompatible, etc.), and additional analytical capacity.


1. Backus RC & Williams RC. (September, 1948) Some uses of uniform sized spherical particles. Paper presented at the EF Burton Memorial Meeting of the Electron Microscope Society of America, Toronto, Canada.

2. Bradford EB, Vanderhoff JW. (1955) Electron microscopy of monodisperse latexes. J Appl Physics; 26(7):864.

3. Bangs LB. (1984) Uniform Latex Particles. Seragen Diagnostics Incorporated.

4. Schwartz A, Fernández-Repollet E. (1993) Development of clinical standards for flow cytometry. Ann N Y Acad Sci; 677:28-39.

5. Gaigalas AK, Wang L, Schwartz A, Marti GE, Vogt RF Jr. (2005) Quantitating fluorescence intensity from fluorophore: assignment of MESF values. J Res Natl Inst Stand Technol; 110(2):101-14.

Historical FCSC website, maintained by Purdue University Cytometry laboratories.