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Study shows how fingerprint-based drug screening works on the living and deceased

Study shows how fingerprint-based drug screening works on the living and deceased

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New research published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology shows how fingerprint-based drug screening can not only screen for the presence, or absence, of four classes of drugs of abuse, but that the technology also works when used by UK coroners to detect drugs in the sweat of fingerprint samples gathered from deceased individuals.

The Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System enables the detection of four drug classes (amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates) from a single fingerprint sample in just ten minutes. Its use in coroner mortuaries demonstrates the value of the revolutionary system that is also being used in drug rehabilitation centers, workplaces and schools. Studies are also underway for its use in airport screening and for offender management applications within prisons and probation services.

An introductory video demonstrating fingerprint-based drug testing in action:

“This new research highlights how our lateral flow drug screening cartridge can screen rapidly for drug use in individuals using a fingerprint sample with a sample collection time of only five seconds, and a total analysis time of ten minutes,” said David Russell, Emeritus Professor at the University of East Anglia, UK, a co-author of the research and Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer. “Our study also showed how our technology is being used by coroners to assist in gaining early understanding of the possible cause of death, and to inform potential further post-mortem activities or quickly facilitate police investigations.

“We matched the coroners’ drug test results obtained using our fingerprint drug screen with a second sample tested in laboratory conditions, achieving excellent correlation in terms of accuracy,” he added. “We also compared our results with toxicological analysis of blood and urine samples, with a good correlation of results.”

“This important research demonstrates how there is sufficient sweat present in a subject’s fingerprint, regardless of whether the person is alive or dead, to enable our fingertip-based drug screening system to detect the presence of four major drugs of abuse at the same time,” added Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Dr Paul Yates. “The results from our coroner service trials also clearly demonstrate how our non-invasive fingerprint screen is simple to use, hygienic and offers an ideal complementary screening approach for the growing number of sectors that require a rapid and flexible drug test.”

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