Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fast, portable device for 'on-the-go,' laboratory-quality cocaine testing

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Testing for cocaine and other drugs usually involves two steps: a quick on-site prescreen, and then a more accurate confirmatory test at a distant laboratory. This process can take days or weeks -- but that's too long in many cases where public safety is at risk. Now, researchers report development of a backpack-sized device that can perform highly accurate and sensitive tests anywhere within 15 minutes.

As part of a portable cocaine test that takes just minutes, this microfluidic device extracts drugs of abuse from dried urine samples.
Credit: American Chemical Society

Testing for cocaine and other drugs usually involves two steps: a quick on-site prescreen, and then a more accurate confirmatory test at a distant laboratory. This process can take days or weeks -- but that's too long in many cases where public safety is at risk. Now, researchers report development of a backpack-sized device that can perform highly accurate and sensitive tests anywhere within 15 minutes. The study appears in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry.

Aaron Wheeler and colleagues explain that the current two-stage system of testing urine for drugs of abuse is expensive and time-consuming. The samples also could get lost or compromised while in transport. The ideal solution, they say, is to skip the prescreening step and instead bring the lab to the site -- but in an easy-to-use, portable package. Currently, when samples arrive at labs for confirmation testing, trained technicians use a "gold-standard" method, relying on sample processing, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyze them. Small versions of instruments that implement these techniques can provide results at or near lab-quality, but they haven't been optimized and tested together as a single, portable instrument. Wheeler's team set out to do just that.

They put together a compact system that can do all the steps -- extracting drugs of abuse from urine with a microfluidic device coupled to a small mass spectrometer that can identify the substances. The backpack-sized instrument could analyze cocaine, benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of cocaine) and codeine in four samples in less than 15 minutes. The amount of cocaine they could detect was compatible with limits set by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The researchers say the device could be used for many different kinds of tests in which laboratory-quality results are needed quickly.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrea E. Kirby, Nelson M. Lafreniθre, Brendon Seale, Paul I. Hendricks, R. Graham Cooks, Aaron R. Wheeler. Analysis on the Go: Quantitation of Drugs of Abuse in Dried Urine with Digital Microfluidics and Miniature Mass Spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 2014; 140606160002000 DOI: 10.1021/ac5012969

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Fast, portable device for 'on-the-go,' laboratory-quality cocaine testing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625101651.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, June 25). Fast, portable device for 'on-the-go,' laboratory-quality cocaine testing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625101651.htm
American Chemical Society. "Fast, portable device for 'on-the-go,' laboratory-quality cocaine testing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625101651.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) — The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins