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Intelligent Fingerprinting secures £3 million funding for portable drug screening

Published on 10/02/17 at 02:21pm
Image: Intelligent Fingerprinting

Intelligent Fingerprinting has received a funding boost to market its fingerprint-based drug screening system further. It is the world’s first portable drug screening system that relies only upon a testee’s fingerprint to determine what drug substances have passed through their system.

The system works by analysing the traces of sweat from the fingerprint of the testee; the device is able to use nanoparticle technology to work with such a small level of chemical trace left by the fingerprint. The primary purpose of the device is to test individuals to determine whether they have taken drugs within five drug groups: Amphetamines, Benzodiazepines, Cannabis, Cocaine and Opiates.

The system will be used primarily in three different markets: the criminal justice system, workplace testing and the medical market. The difference between this device and other methods of drug testing is the speed and ease-of-use, as well as being considerably more comfortable for users compared with urine testing.

The project is built upon research conducted at the University of East Anglia, which involved research into nanoparticle technology performed by Professor David Russel and UEA remains a stakeholder in the device.

The device is currently going through a pilot testing process but has potential uses within a variety of fields, particularly within workplace environment but also as part of rehabilitation programs to test whether individuals have remained adherent to their therapy – being able to determine whether methadone has been taken or not.

“I would hope as we go through the summer, we would be looking to take the product to market in a commercial fashion. It is important for us to get the final feedback from the pilot testing we’re running, it’s always really important in this type of business to get the finished product in the real customers hands – to get their definitive feedback on how they feel the systems work within the current environment that they’re operating in”, Philip Hand, CEO of Intelligent Fingerprinting, told Pharmafocus.

Hand also indicated that there is potential further uses for the testing, potentially leading into areas, such as testing drug adherence, but for now their focus remains on bringing the device to market.

Ben Hargreaves

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