Over the past 30 years, miniaturization and integration have led to laptop computers and fiber optic telecommunications. But the application of advanced engineering has lagged in the areas of fluids handling and the biochemistry and medical diagnostics laboratory.

Founded in June 1995 by Lawrence Bock and Michael Knapp, who met on the Internet, Caliper's objective is to produce and bring to market automated tools for biochemical analysis offering the functional equivalent of a chemistry laboratory on a microchip. To do so, the company is applying advanced microfabrication methods from the semiconductor industry to the automated handling of fluids.