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. 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.