Sttr Phase I: Planar Array Infrared(pa-ir): a Compact Rugged Double Beam Infrared

Period of Performance: 04/01/2009 - 08/31/2010


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Pair Technologies, LLC
Newark, DE 19711
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There are currently a significant number of research programs directed at the utilization of vibrational spectroscopy (infrared, near infrared and Raman) as diagnostic tools for a variety of diseases. Almost all of these efforts utilize existing, commercially available instrumentation which for infrared measurements rely almost entirely on Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) interferometers. In order for the results from these existing programs to effectively translate from the laboratory to the bed-side (translational research), there needs to be a new generation of infrared and near infrared instrumentation, that is 1) laboratory quality for both routine and nonstandard measurements, and 2) portable, field deployable, and responsive to a wide variety of substances (proteins, metabolites, and blood components). Such infrared instrumentation must be able to rapidly produce high quality spectra in the laboratory while possessing the requisite sensitivity and inherent stability to do low level analysis of biologically relevant species outside of a laboratory under ambient conditions. We propose to design and construct a new type of portable, ultra-rapid infrared instrument based on focal plane array detection. This planar array IR (PA-IR) instrument will provide the time- resolution (10-15 ms) to follow "real-time" irreversible processes and provide information on a timescale which is not readily accessible to current FT-IR instruments. The instrument will also be capable of performing real-time background corrections thus providing for compensation of water vapor in the atmosphere, for liquid water in the case of proteins in aqueous solutions (this application) or for real time subtraction of solvent bands. This can be a critical issue when the infrared or near infrared measurements are translated to the clinic or bedside. Our longer range effort will be to extend this technology to create a small portable PA-IR spectrometer with the following improvements. The dual beam system will be a marked improvement over all present FT-IR systems as they do not have simultaneous reference and sample capability. The PA-IR system will also be capable of multiple simultaneous spectral acquisitions. In addition, the use of thermoelectric cooling systems will be investigated to eliminate the need for liquid nitrogen cooling of the detector system. If these technical goals are obtained our future plans would include prototyping, manufacturing and sales of these instruments. It is our long term goal to provide this system to academia, government and industry. If successful, we will provide improved capability with respect to the present generation of research grade FT-IR instruments (acquisition rate and dual beam capability) at a comparable cost. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: There is a very strong interest in the public health community to drive diagnostic methods from the laboratory to the clinic or office, "bench to bedside". An integral component of this transition is the development of small, compact, rugged and reliable analytical instrumentation. The increasing level of research results showing the relevance of vibrational spectroscopy to disease diagnosis accentuates the need for the spectroscopic instrumentation embodied in this program.