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Sionex Introduces Trace Chemical Detector System

October 16, 2008

The microAnalyzer will speed integration of Sionex technology with OEM systems for threat detection, process control, monitoring, and medical diagnostics.


BEDFORD, MA -- Sionex Corp., a leading producer of chemical sensors and sub-systems, announced the introduction of the microAnalyzer, an integrated system that can quickly detect, identify, and measure extremely minute quantities of chemicals in air or vaporized liquids at the point of collection. The microAnalyzer is the first product to provide, in one, small, portable package, an (oven-less) gas chromatographic (GC) separation module and Sionex's patented microDMx sensor, dramatically improving selectivity in complex chemical environments. Sensitivity is typically in the range of parts per trillion, and the speed of the microDMx technology allows for processing times between 30 s and 5 min.

Building on Sionex's years of experience working with OEMs to integrate its technology into their products, the compact microAnalyzer is designed to be rapidly incorporated into systems. The microAnalyzer's modular design makes possible the use of different traps and GC columns to tailor it for a specific application.

"Our experience with OEMs in markets as diverse as threat detection, process control, monitoring, and medical diagnostics has enabled us to create a product that provides the unique functionality that our OEM customers demand, combined with the flexibility they need to create products that meet their customers needs," said Wes Davis, President and CEO of Sionex. "The microAnalyzer allows OEMs to speed their development process, bringing their advanced systems to market more quickly and cost-effectively.

"Sionex's microDMx—based on Differential Mobility Spectroscopy—is a very small, fast, accurate chemical sensor that will have broad application in a wide range of industries. With the microAnalyzer, we are targeting those industries that are moving most aggressively—right now—to adopt advanced technology for trace chemical detection."

The microAnalyzer uses a combination of a GC separation module and Sionex's proprietary technology to analyze a gas phase or vaporized liquid to detect, identify, and measure the chemicals in it to the level of parts per trillion. The microAnalyzer produces near-real-time data that can trigger alerts, monitor conditions, generate diagnostic reports, or manage manufacturing processes.

The product features a touchscreen display that shows target compounds, concentrations, and alarm notification. A separate alarm level can be set for each target compound. Detection algorithms are easily downloaded for instrument operation and control. The entire unit is merely 9.5 in. long by 5.25 in. wide by 3.5 in. high.

The microAnalyzer is primarily aimed at OEMs who make products for the threat detection/defense, process control, monitoring, and medical devices markets. Taking advantage of the microAnalyzer's unique capabilities, size, and cost, they incorporate it into complete solutions for their established customer bases. These systems range from chemical warfare agent detectors for the battlefield to process manufacturing management systems, from environmental monitoring equipment to medical diagnostic devices analyzing human breath. The price of the microAnalyzer varies depending on order size, from, for example, $11,000 a unit in volumes of 100 to 199 to $7500 a unit in volumes of 1000 or more. It is available for shipping 30 days after receipt of order.

About Sionex
Sionex Corp. provides breakthrough chemical and biological sensor chips and subsystems based on its proprietary microDMx detection technology. Sionex maintains its worldwide headquarters and laboratories in Bedford, MA. The company is privately held and was founded in 2001, with patented technology exclusively licensed from the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.


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