Spectral measurement instruments can accurately determine the nature of an isolated target substance such as a specific molecular signature. Use of any one of the standard spectral processes has difficulty when the target substance is present at a low concentration within a mixture of a large number of distractors. To deal with such problems, Lightsense has developed a radical new spectroscopy architecture consisting of a combination of two or more spectral processes with multi-modal data fusion, fully integrated, that will be capable of identifying and quantifying low concentrations of substances against complex backgrounds accurately. Lightsense has used this approach to develop detectors (scanners) for illicit drugs based on two spectral processes that have demonstrated unprecedented accuracy and sensitivity, with the capability to detect the substance of interest at low concentrations of less than 1% even when mixed with a host of other substances. Other applications, such as hospital diagnostic and pharmacy QC/QA instruments are based on integrating three distinctly different spectroscopic techniques and applying AI analytics resulting in unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy.
Detecting methamphetamine is an issue both for law enforcement and building inspection where residues from its use can linger for years. The highest priority for federal, state, and local law enforcement in the US is fentanyl. Fentanyl is a special case given its extreme toxicity and the difficulty of detecting small amounts mixed in with other substances and for which there is currently no adequate handheld optical instrument for detection. Lightsense has developed a unique and patented technology platform based on data fusion from two separate spectroscopies that can be configured to detect any one of the major illicit drugs: fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, and at very low concentrations even if mixed in with other substances.
The innovative and patented platform Enhanced Photoemission Spectroscopy (EPS) developed by Lightsense integrates three separate spectroscopy techniques for unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy for detecting and identifying complex substances, e.g., viral and bacterial pathogens, against a complex background such as a biological fluid. This multispectral architecture has been demonstrated to yield several orders of magnitude enhancement of sensitivity and accuracy and will provide a unique ability to identify and quantify pathogens.
The Department of Defense has awarded Lightsense Technology an SBIR grant to develop this radically new spectrometer architecture, incorporated into a handheld instrument, using multimodal data fusion and Artificial Intelligence for pattern recognition and data analysis. The EPS pathogen detector instrument is currently in development.
Pharmacies in large hospitals produce up to a million drug cocktails per year, many containing highly toxic compounds, e.g., fentanyl, where an erroneously high concentration can be fatal. Verifying the composition of such drug cocktails is a critical issue. Lightsense has demonstrated with prototype Enhanced Photoemission Spectroscopy (EPS) instruments a highly effective approach to QA/QC of such drug mixtures.
A separate and related issue for hospital pharmacies is controlling the narcotics return process in operating rooms, a challenging area for hospital pharmacies to manage. With large amounts of potent agents to administer to their patients, preventing diversion of abused substances is the pharmacy’s responsibility. A Lightsense EPS instrument was tested in a hospital pharmacy, and by comparing the spectral “fingerprints” of a tested medication against the signature for that medication in the library, the prototype instrument correctly validated the returned narcotic waste against samples in the spectral library in less than 30 seconds. These results clearly demonstrated the efficacy of the multispectral design for real-time identification. The hospital system is scheduled for release in 2022.