Sniffing Out Explosives with Canine Precision

SpectraFluidics Inc. has demonstrated the repeatable performance capabilities of its novel sensor platform when used to detect DNT, an important chemical marker associated with TNT explosives.

Chemical Vapor Detection CartridgesSpectraFluidics Inc. has demonstrated the repeatable performance capabilities of its novel sensor platform when used to detect DNT, an important chemical marker associated with TNT explosives. According to the company:

  • Chief Scientist Dr. Brian Piorek said research provides empirical test evidence of the efficacy of the breakthrough science behind the firm's Chemical Vapor Detection Cartridges.
  • Conducted in collaboration with scientists at UC Santa Barbara, tests showing the system's sensitivity and specificity were recently published in Analytical Chemistry, a journal of the American Chemical Society ('Free-Surface Microfluidics/Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Real-Time Trace Vapor Detection of Explosives', October 16, 2012).
  • Tests documented in the paper show the extraordinary sensitivity of this new generation of sensors that enable a user to identify the chemical signature of a substance within two minutes.
  • Dr. Piorek stated that it's this combination of sensitivity, chemical specificity and speed that makes the technology so appealing to many homeland security, food and research applications.
  • Many existing chemical detection systems use surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), a process that distributes or "scatters" photons of the material being tested to isolate individual molecules for identification purposes, but SpectraFluidics' patented technology combines SERS with free-surface microfluidics, a process that draws liquid along a microscale channel which provides the effect of both concentrating molecules and greatly enhancing the Raman signal.

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