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SpectraFluidics of Goleta Secures Strategic Investment from IQT

The company is developing a new platform for sensing airborne molecules

SpectraFluidics Inc., a Goleta-based innovator in high-performance vapor trace chemical detection systems, announced Thursday a strategic investment and development agreement with In-Q-Tel, an 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 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 percent 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 of 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,” SpectraFluidics CEO Phil Strong said. “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.”

— Phil Strong is CEO of SpectraFluidics Inc.

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