Roadside drug test anyone?

By | August 8, 2009

portable_drug_tester

Technology Review: “Later this year, Philips will introduce a handheld electronic device that uses magnetic nanoparticles to screen for five major recreational drugs. The device is intended for roadside use by law enforcement agencies and includes a disposable plastic cartridge and a handheld analyzer. The cartridge has two components: a sample collector for gathering saliva and a measurement chamber containing magnetic nanoparticles. The particles are coated with ligands that bind to one of five different drug groups: cocaine, heroin, cannabis, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.” – When bound to the offending drug, the ligands – dig out the chemistry books everyone – will delivery a color coded test result in about 90 seconds. Philips has been working on the technology since 2001 and hopes to begin shipping the devices later this year. That’s some pretty cool technology.

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