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Laser technology lights growth path for ChemImage hyperspectral imaging systems


Tapping knuckles on his conference table, Dr. Patrick Treado, ChemImage founder and Chief Technology Officer, notes a current need for 4 to 5 hires while describing a strategic path of “consistent, sustainable growth” by developing “best-in-class” technology.  “We are always looking for skilled people,” he says.

ChemImage systems use laser light to perform spectroscopic analysis represented in digital images.  As the awards of two new patents in September and another in August indicate, the strategy also depends on steady growth in the value of intellectual property, which includes 54 U.S. patents issued and 72 pending.  

ChemImage builds a “craftsman’s” products for forensic, food and pharmaceutical, medical, and homeland- and military-security applications. A primary application, Raman imaging, draws upon molecular effects from scattering photons for the discovery of which the Indian physicist C.V. Raman won the 1930 Nobel Physics Prize. Laser light provides levels of accuracy, speed, and sampling far superior to chemicals that create molecular reactions to identify a material’s composition.  

The company’s systems can determine the molecular composition of trace evidence, a document’s authenticity, particulate sizes, species of microscopic organisms, and chemical, biological, and explosive materials.  

Treado expects markets for forensic, homeland security, and defense applications to remain reliable.  A patent awarded at the end of September highlighted a ChemImage system’s ability to rapidly detect biological materials, such as Cryptosporidium, in municipal water supplies–work performed in cooperating with the Environmental Protection Agency. The company also works with the military on detection of anthrax spores and other infectious materials.

Designs for robotic and mobile delivery of ChemImage systems to crime scenes and unmanned battlefields also promise to sustain steady growth for an enterprise that Treado facetiously refers to as the “largest technology company in Point Breeze,” a largely residential neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s East End.

Source: ChemImage, Patrick Treado
Writer: Joseph Plummer

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