Our drug screening device is currently in development.
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Whenever someone leaves a fingerprint they also set down traces of chemicals which, when analysed, can reveal the substances a person has eaten, injected or inhaled.
For example, when smoke is inhaled the chemicals within it are absorbed and processed by the body producing secondary chemicals, called metabolites. Metabolites can be detected within a person’s sweat for many hours, and sometimes days, after the initial substance was ingested.
If someone has smoked a cannabis cigarette or taken other illegal drugs, analysis of that person’s sweat – even the tiny amount in their fingerprints – can provide evidence of this activity long afterwards.
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s diagnostic technique uses patented antibody nanoparticle technology to detect drug metabolites in the minute traces of sweat found in a fingerprint. Using a single fingerprint sample, one test screens for evidence of various drugs of abuse, currently:
The technique detects drug metabolites rather than the drugs themselves, so a positive result indicates that the person being screened has taken the drug and not simply touched a contaminated surface.
An image of the fingerprint is captured as part of the screening technique. If required, this image can provide confirmation of personal identity in relation to the test result, minimising the risk of cheating or sample misidentification.
The new technique has been incorporated into the world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug screening device.
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s scientists have developed highly sensitive reagents for the detection of trace substances in fingerprint sweat. The reagents use patented technology based on antibody nanoparticle conjugates to detect specified substances such as drug metabolites.
Our proprietary reagents can be formulated to detect many more drugs than the five groups that are currently available. This flexibility means our drug testing system can adapt to changing drug misuse patterns, and the requirements of different drug screening customers.
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug screening technique is based on the pioneering nanoparticle technology research of our Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Professor David Russell of the University of East Anglia.
Professor Russell’s research, which has been published in leading scientific journals, is focused on the study of metabolites and their detection within sweat. Through his work he discovered that drug misuse could be detected through fingerprint analysis.
The Intelligent Fingerprinting technique may be used to identify other types of metabolites and chemicals in fingerprints. Research is ongoing into a variety of new applications for our fingerprint-based diagnostic technology.