Detection and identification of illegal drugs is a major task of both police and customs officials in order to prevent circulation and dealing in our society. An optimal testing method is crucial to support this process.
Within the AXES research group, a new method was developed to achieve a fast and accurate detection of cocaine at low cost, using an electrochemical sensor. By using this method, the limitations and restrictions of existing tests can be tackled (i.e. interpretation sensitivity, false positives/negatives, and environmental influences). The developed technique is currently operational in a lab setting, but needs to be adjusted and translated to be effective on location. Currently, within other projects, the method is optimized to achieve multi-drug detection.
This POC project focusses on the development of a user-friendly and wearable device for drug detection that can be used by different authorities without scientific knowledge or training. By means of methods from Product Development, the current lab setting will be translated into a usable product for reliable testing (in typical Belgian weather conditions, wearing gloves, in an environment where no tables or other surfaces are available). The project includes thorough testing and verification with future end users.
The newly developed electrochemical measuring method in the current laboratory environment
New, more user-friendly, prototypes are continuously being tested
A new sampling method was developed within a portable test unit