Fingerprint-based drug detector receives financial boost

30 January 2014
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
A British company is developing an innovative device for drug detection from fingerprints

A British company is developing an innovative device for drug detection from fingerprints [Credit: Intelligent Fingerprinting]

A British company developing the world’s first hand-held device capable of detecting drugs in users’ system through their fingerprints has won American funding.

The £750,000 received from a consortium of private US-based investors will allow Intelligent Fingerprinting to move towards the final development stages of a potentially revolutionary device that enables criminal investigators and healthcare workers to perform drug screening before a need to take biological samples. In 2012, the company secured £2m from US backers and almost £700,000 in government-funded grants.

“This additional funding is fantastic news as we enter the final phases of development,” said Jerry Walker, CEO of Intelligent Fingerprinting. “Allowing us to accelerate the device’s introduction to the global market, the investment will be used as working capital to fund late stage product development and to support investment in manufacturing.”

The scanner offers an easy-to-use, non-invasive way of drug-screening that provides accurate results in less than ten minutes. The main advantage of the new device is the elimination of the need for specialist collection arrangements and biohazard disposal facilities associated with conventional drug testing methods involving blood, urine or saliva samples.

One fingerprint is enough for the device to analyse chemicals produced by the body, known as metabolites. Those metabolites can be found in sweat in the fingerprint and could be used to detect substances the person has consumed, including drugs.

Because the technique detects the drug metabolites rather than the drugs themselves, a positive result proves that the person being screened has taken the drug and not simply touched a contaminated surface.  

The device captures a detailed image of the fingerprint during analysis.  If required, this image can be used to confirm personal identity in relation to the test result, ruling out false positives due to sample mix ups.

The global market for drug screening was recently estimated to reach $2.6 billion in 2014, growing at  about 5 per cent per year.

Intelligent Fingerprinting hopes to run a pilot production project by the end of 2014.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Analogue Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
    • Uppsala (Stad) (SE)

    The Swedish Institute of Space Institute (IRF) in Uppsala search for an analogue electronics engineer.

    • Recruiter: Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer - Water

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful Water and Environment Unit is recruiting an electrical engineer....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful water business continues to win and deliver a fantastic amount of work....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Control Engineer

    Bank of England
    • Debden
    • Competitive

    We’re looking for a qualified engineer with experience of computer programming for engineering systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Bank of England

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T