Galway start-up innovates with molecular-fingerprinting software


6 Nov 2009

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With unique technology licensed from NUI Galway, spin-out Analyze IQ could have a substantial impact on drug seizures and subsequent tracing with software designed to provide an accurate analysis of complex mixtures including illegal drugs.

The Analyze IQ software suite takes data gathered from molecular spectroscopy, whereby laser light is passed through a solid, liquid or gas at a molecular level and the pattern of scattered light can "fingerprint" the mixture for the lab technician.

“The software suite has been designed to address the need for accurate analysis of spectroscopic data from mixtures of materials,” said Dr Michael Madden, CEO of Analyze IQ.

“For a wide range of real-world applications, it is essential to be able to work with mixtures to quickly and accurately assess the composition of their main components.

“Taking law enforcement as an example, it is extremely valuable in a drug seizure to be able to assess the composition of the drugs and cutting agents, as it provides useful intelligence that indicates from where in the ‘supply chain’ the drugs have come.”

This technology also has applications in manufacturing inspection, emergency services and the pharmaceutical industry.

Analyze IQ, which was established in 2008, is the fruit of five years of research collaboration between analytical chemists with expertise in spectroscopic techniques, and software engineers with expertise in data mining and machine learning, with support from Enterprise Ireland at the research stage.

The start-up recently signed a partnership deal with the Florida-based Ocean Optics, photonics technology firm that operates in the US, Europe and Asia, and now markets and sells Analyze IQ’s software suite.

By Marie Boran

Photo: A look at Analyze IQ.