Fingerprint-based drug detector receives financial boost
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.
"Who's getting the best engineering education? And what did your careers advisor suggest you do when you leave school?"
- BT hits 1 Gbit/s with combination of copper and fibre
- Engineers to command top starting salaries, says guide
- Don't ignore Shellshock bug, says data protection watchdog
- Esa to test-fly experimental space plane
- Apple apologise over iOS 8 glitch as it releases patch
- Stonehenge: digital mapping reveals the true picture
- What to Specialise in Electronics Engineering?? [03:02 am 03/04/14]
- Britain to have just one remaining coal pit by the end of 2015 [01:11 am 03/04/14]
- LV Generator Star point earthing - UK [08:35 pm 02/04/14]
- East West Rail - the Oxford to Bedford route [07:33 pm 02/04/14]
- Small nuclear power [06:06 pm 02/04/14]
The essential source of engineering products and suppliers.
Tune into our latest podcast