NUI Galway Spin-out Offers Molecular 'Fingerprinting' of Complex Substances

Friday, 6 November 2009

A spin-out company from NUI Galway, Analyze IQ Limited, is providing solutions for the more accurate analysis of complex mixtures such as illegal drugs, pharmaceuticals and contaminants. With technology licensed from NUI Galway, Analyze IQ Limited offers an innovative software suite for the analysis of the composition of mixtures, based on molecular spectroscopy data. Molecular spectroscopic techniques can effectively 'fingerprint' materials. This is done by assessing the manner in which laser light is scattered by the molecular structure of the gas, liquid or solid being tested. The company's products have applications in fields as diverse as manufacturing inspection, law enforcement, emergency services and the pharmaceutical industry. Analyze IQ sells its software suite directly to end users and through partnerships with manufacturers of spectroscopy instruments. The company has recently signed a partnership deal with Florida-based Ocean Optics, which is now marketing and selling the Analyze IQ software suite. Ocean Optics is a diversified photonics technology firm and a global leader in optical sensing with locations in the US, Europe and Asia. Analyze IQ has further partnerships in the pipeline. Analyze IQ Limited was established in 2008 as a spin-out company from NUI Galway. The company's technology is the result of a five-year research collaboration between analytical chemists with expertise in spectroscopic techniques and software engineers with expertise in data mining and machine learning. The research phase received substantial support from Enterprise Ireland. The founders of the Analyze IQ include Dr Michael Madden, who led the development of the technology within NUI Galway, while a lecturer in the College of Engineering and Informatics. According to Dr Madden, CEO of Analyze IQ: "The software suite has been designed to address the need for accurate analysis of spectroscopic data from mixtures of materials. 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 is useful intelligence that indicates from where in the 'supply chain' the drugs have come". Testing has shown that the novel analysing techniques licensed to Analyze IQ are more accurate than standard chemometric-based methods, particularly when analysing complex mixtures.
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