ChemImage Corporation and Headwall Photonics Combine Core Competencies to Provide Application-specific Spectral Imaging Solutions

ChemImage Corporation, a pioneer in hyperspectral chemical imaging, Raman imaging, and fluorescence imaging technologies for chemical and biological applications in numerous global industries and Headwall Photonics, the world’s leading supplier of high performance integrated spectrometer systems for hyperspectral imaging and chemical sensing announce their successful collaboration and leveraging of their core technologies. With the selection of Headwalls’ OEM technology platform, ChemImage will provide cost effective, application-specific chemical imaging solutions, resulting in a competitive advantage for customers with high performance, high throughput application requirements. ChemImage and Headwall Photonics will jointly apply their years of experience to develop new spectroscopic imaging products targeted towards applications in the pharmaceutical, materials characterization and forensic markets.  

Jay Zakrzewski, Director of Business Development at Headwall Photonics, stated “We are very excited about the value this strategic collaboration brings to industry. ChemImage has demonstrated a successful and aggressive application focus on providing their customers with superior chemical imaging solutions.  Combining the strengths of ChemImage with Headwall 

Photonics’ core competency of producing optimized high spectral and spatial resolution imaging spectrometers will introduce a new generation of cost effective spectral imaging systems for material identification”.

Chemical imaging, a spectral sensing technique, is the combination of optical spectroscopy, microscopy and digital imaging processing to provide images with contrast based on chemical structure that detail morphology and composition. Traditionally, ChemImage produced chemical imaging systems with very high image fidelity using research grade components. However, customers are demanding the power of chemical imaging techniques in even more cost-effective instrument packages. This relationship with Headwall Photonics gives ChemImage access to the best-in-class spectrometer-based spectral imaging systems from Headwall Photonics as well as the ability to configure these products for specific applications. The immediate result will be a series of cost-effective chemical imaging systems which can be utilized for critical chemical and biological threat assessment as well as commercial applications such as pharmaceutical and material identification applications. 

For example, in the pharmaceutical market, ChemImage will apply Raman chemical imaging to the identification of drug polymorphs. Polymorphs are different crystalline forms of a drug that can have widely different efficacies when taken to treat a specific condition or disease. Therefore, during the preclinical development and manufacturing process there is a need to understand and identify different drug crystallization forms.

Conventional point-focus Raman spectroscopy has been widely used as a tool to discriminate between polymorphic forms, but it suffers from the limitation that each measurement is from a very small number of crystals, which may not be sufficient to detect the presence of additional crystal forms. ChemImage’s patented Raman chemical imaging techniques provide a set of spatially separated spectra from a large number of crystals thus improving the probability of detecting all of the polymorphic forms present in the sample. Headwall’s application-optimized imaging spectrometers provide this parallel collection of spatially separated spectra in the most accurate and cost-effective manner possible today. The net result of providing better information to the pharmaceutical industry is the direct improvement in manufacturing costs and in regulatory compliance.

Another area where cost-effective chemical imaging will have a significant impact is the identification of unknown materials using their Raman spectroscopic signatures. In particular, there is a great deal of interest in the detection and identification of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) including chemical, biological and explosive (CBE) agents. Raman chemical imaging is uniquely suited to this task and ChemImage will utilize Headwall technology to provide tested solutions, tailored to both field and laboratory use. 

CBE materials are usually distributed in the environment as small particles or droplets in the presence of particles of background or clutter material. Conventional spectroscopy can only look at small areas in a single measurement and can therefore “miss” a potential threat particle. ChemImage’s patented Raman chemical imaging approach simultaneously interrogates a much larger area and produces spatially-resolved spectra. These spatially resolved spectra improve the ability to detect a threat agent by sampling a larger area. They provide more statistically robust identification of threats since each set of spectra or image provides both agent and background spectra. The combination of Headwall spectrometers and ChemImage data collection and advanced chemometric processing tools will bring the improved performance of Raman Chemical Imaging to this most challenging and critical application. 

About ChemImage Corporation

ChemImage Corporation is a Pittsburgh based company committed to making the world healthier and safer through dramatic advancements in chemical imaging technology. The company combines proprietary, state-of-the-art imaging sensors, algorithms and analytical software to solve the world's most challenging health and safety issues.

ChemImage seeks to provide an Awareness of Things™ (AoT™) to a global audience, using the company's innovation platforms to provide people with unprecedented levels of vision, information and situational knowledge about their surroundings in their everyday lives. To accomplish this goal, the firm develops technologies for chemical and biological applications across many global industries; including life sciences, bio-medical, security, threat detection, anatomic pathology, forensics and diagnostics. 

For more information, contact ChemImage.