News | May 31, 2000

Cyrano Sciences Unveils Portable Electronic Nose

NEW ORLEANS, LA (March 13, 2000) -- Cyrano Sciences, Inc., a company developing products and services that create and transform sensory data into valuable information, today unveiled the Cyranose 320, the first polymer composite sensor-based hand-held electronic nose at this year's PITTCON 2000 in New Orleans. The Cyranose 320 enables customers to easily classify odors for a variety of industry applications. (PITTCON Booth #6259)

Initial uses for the Cyranose 320 include chemical quality control and inspection for the food quality industry, where the device can rapidly sense off-odors associated with food manufacturing and packaging. The lightweight and affordable Cyranose 320 offers a versatility and reliability absent from current food quality monitoring devices. The unit promptly and accurately detects freshness, spoilage, contamination and batch-to-batch consistency in foods, beverages and packaging or inferior product.

Off-odors, which can originate from the food itself, in the environment surrounding the food while in storage or transit, or from the packaging materials designed to protect the product, are the major cause for customer rejection. With the touch of a button, the Cyranose 320 can determine whether the product is ready for distribution.

"Food producers often use human sensory panels in these applications. The Cyrano Sciences technology represents a cost-effective method of improving these activities," said Richard Sill, vice president of sales & marketing for Cyrano Sciences, Inc. "Much like vision inspection is used in the electronics industry, olfactory inspection is ideally suited to the food industry."

Based on technology exclusively licensed from the California Institute of Technology, the Cyranose 320 offers a more powerful, affordable and easy-to-use smell identification system than what is currently on the market today. The sensor technology is based on conducting composites that change resistance with exposure to a vapor. Since each vapor is unique, each element of the array produces a different change in resistance. The pattern of resistance changes provides a response signature characteristic of the sample being measured. The simple electronics, compact design and environmental stability have resulted in a fast and accurate product that can be widely deployed, making it a viable alternative in the $18.1 billion worldwide analytical instrument market (source: Instrument Business Outlook, January 15, 2000). The unit incorporates an easy-to-read display and universal connection ports that enable easy downloading of data into most spreadsheet packages.

"Our goal is to digitize smell and make this information as ubiquitous as temperature measurements," said Steven Sunshine, president and CEO of Cyrano Sciences, Inc. "The Cyranose 320 represents the first in what will eventually be a family of web enabled devices that can provide simple chemical information. This capability will have a wide range of applications across multiple industry sectors."

In addition to applications in chemical identification, food processing and quality control, the company is exploring the use of its technology in industrial processes, medicine, the petrochemical and environment industries, and military opportunities. The company's long-term plan is to drive the cost of generating digital smell information to as low a point as possible. The ability to drive to still greater miniaturization and lower cost

will lead to chip-based products suitable for consumer-oriented markets. The company expects that future electronic nose-based technology will be marketed to other businesses to be integrated into their products, including home appliances.

To expand research efforts, Cyrano Sciences formed a collaborative research agreement with Agilent Technologies, a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company, in January 1999 to develop rugged, hand-held sensory devices. In September 1999, the company also entered into a partnership with Welch Allyn, Inc., a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative medical and dental diagnostic instruments, to develop smell-based diagnostic tools.

About Cyrano Sciences, Inc.
Founded in 1997, Cyrano Sciences, Inc. is a developer of Internet based business-to-business (B2B) infrastructure solutions for process monitoring. The company is positioned to be the leader in low-cost Internet deployed sensor technology, providing data that can be converted into useful information for businesses. Its first e-sensory monitoring tool, the hand-held Cyranose 320, is being used in the food and chemical industries for quality control purposes, and has been tested for applications in the medical, environmental and military industries. The company is also developing a NoseChip with a variety of consumer applications, such as incorporation into refrigerators to detect food spoilage. Cyrano Sciences' products are based on technology exclusively licensed from the California Institute of Technology and are protected by 10 issued U.S. patents and one European patent.