Collin Arocho
19 June 2019

Dynaxion is set to receive 100,000 dollars (89,000 euros) from the US Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies, for their opioid detection solution. The Eindhoven-based high tech start-up, founded just nine months ago, is receiving this boost of money because of its participation in the Opioid Detection Challenge, where they were selected as one of eight finalists, out of more than eighty proposals.

Supported by the high tech start-up incubator, HightechXL, and the Eindhoven Startup Alliance, Dynaxion was assisted by an innovation out of CERN. At the heart of the company’s scanner is a radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ), which stems from the Geneva-based research institute’s particle accelerator technology. This RFQ bombards the target material with charged particles, creating high energy neutrons, which can be used for accurate material inspection – all without interrupting the normal flow of operations. By detecting neutrons and gamma rays passing through parcels, the system analyzes the energy spectra produced, giving highly accurate results down to the atomic level – a big upgrade from the current standard of x-rays.

CERN HF RFQ 02_web
The heart of the Dynaxion scanner is a radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ) developed at CERN. Credit: CERN

Joost van de Griendt, CMO of Dynaxion, believes the possibility for the enhanced recognition of drugs and illicit materials is what sets his company’s solution apart: “Our competitive advantage is our versatility,” Van de Griendt says. “We detect explosives, ivory, money, drugs and other dangerous materials. We can distinguish between milk powder and cocaine, maple syrup and nitroglycerine.”