West Lafayette, Ind. (Dec. 4, 2008) - ICx Technologies, today announced a new joint research project with Purdue University's R. Graham Cooks, distinguished professor of chemistry, working through the university's Discovery Park Center for Analytical Instrumentation Development.
The research will focus on the area of novel ambient ionization mass spectrometry (AI-MS). Ambient ionization mass spectrometry allows scientists to analyze surfaces for chemicals at trace levels without the need for standard sample preparation. Mass spectrometers can now directly "sniff" surfaces for chemical markers.
The technology has the potential to allow rapid screening of surfaces, such as luggage or vehicles, for items such as contraband and explosives. Potential applications include forensics, port and border screening as well as aviation security.
This new project continues seven years of joint research between the Cooks' group and ICx, and will be focused through the Center for Analytical Instrumentation Development, an interdisciplinary center in Purdue's Discovery Park established in July, 2008. The goals of the center include promoting the commercialization of instrumentation developed in the Center's projects, thereby stimulating the regional economy. This will be the first industrial contract to be coordinated through the center.
"We look forward to building on our productive relationship with the Cooks' group," said Dennis Barket, Jr., president and CEO of Griffin Analytical Technologies, LLC a business unit of ICx Technologies, Inc. that is based in the Purdue Research Park. "This project has the potential to lead to significant advances in analytical security products. This is important work and there is no team better positioned to be successful than CAID and ICx Technologies."
The ICx/Cooks partnership has previously led to a mini mass spectrometer, which is now in its third phase of testing by the Department of Homeland Security as a tool for facility protection. The lab, which now employs some 42 people, has also proven to be a steady source of high-caliber employees for ICx.