De Fonbrune Microforge; Sensaur M4-67

Description (Brief)
This microforge was used at Genentech, a biotechnology company.
Laboratory technicians use microforges to heat and shape glass in order to create very small, delicate instruments for work with living cells under a microscope. This model was designed to “provide seven different basic operations for transforming fine capillary tubing, solid glass rods, and various fusible materials into an endless variety of micro-tools.” These micro-tools typically come in the form of extremely fine needles, pipettes, or hooks. They are used to manipulate or inject living cells under a microscope.
The need for the microforge developed after the invention of the micromanipulator, a tool designed to hold and manipulate tools under a microscope with a precision greater than that of the human hand.
Curtin Scientific Company. “mini-maker!” Southwest Retort 22:9, May 1970.
Institut Pasteur “Pierre de Fonbrune.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
about 1970
Genentech, Inc.
Curtin Matheson Scientific, Inc.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 14 1/4 in x 11 in x 17 1/2 in; 36.195 cm x 27.94 cm x 44.45 cm
United States: California, South San Francisco
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
maker number
model number
serial number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Genentech
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.