SANTA BARBARA, CA /PRNewswire/ -- SpectraFluidics, Inc., the innovator in high performance vapor trace chemical detection systems, announced a strategic investment and development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT), the independent strategic investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
The technology behind SpectraFluidics' system is a unique combination of free-surface microfluidics and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. The company is currently developing a fundamentally new platform for sensing airborne molecules at ultra low concentrations, while at the same time being molecular specific, fast to respond, and portable. The high-throughput technology promises to improve screening productivity, and potentially enable 100% continuous trace vapor screening in critical applications which have typically relied upon slower sampling protocols and lab analysis instrumentation. Initial target applications include in-line security screening for explosives, as well as food and agricultural produce where safety, quality and certification are increasingly important.
"SpectraFluidics is developing a truly novel approach to real-time airborne chemical sensing, which could ultimately be configured as a hand-held instrument," said Syd Ulvick, Vice President, Physical and Biological Technologies practice at IQT. "We feel that the platform the company is developing has the potential to significantly exceed existing state-of-the-art chemical detection systems, providing benefits to both the public and private sectors."
"We are proud and excited to have IQT as a strategic investor," said SpectraFluidics CEO Phil Strong. "Our goal is to deliver lab type analytical certainty to vapor trace in-field applications at lower cost and with much higher throughput and reliability. This solves a common problem found across many industries, which currently rely upon slow sample screening protocols to detect and identify airborne chemicals."
SpectraFluidics Inc. is redefining the vapor trace chemical detection space by enhancing and commercializing core technology that was originally developed at UC Santa Barbara. By integrating free-surface microfluidics with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), SpectraFluidics is able to deliver ultra-trace sensitivity and molecular specificity for detection of trace airborne chemicals. Free-surface microfluidics naturally captures and concentrates airborne chemicals directly onto a proprietary chip, which eliminates the need for expensive, bulky and contamination prone pre-concentrators, while also presenting a continuously replenishing active sensor surface. SpectraFluidics is working to embody and further develop this patented technology into a commercial product platform that will initially be targeted at high throughput security screening for trace explosives. The platform will be readily adapted to other high performance applications in commercial and scientific sectors.
In-Q-Tel is the strategic, not-for-profit investment firm that works to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Launched by the CIA in 1999 as a private, independent organization, IQT's mission is to identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint defining the Intelligence Community's critical technology needs, IQT engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers and investors to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community. IQT concentrates on several broad commercial technology areas, including: physical and biological technologies; security; and software and infrastructure. To date, IQT has partnered with more than 150 companies and delivered more than 300 technology solutions to the Intelligence Community.