Scientists in the UK and the Netherlands have revealed a rapid, single-fingerprint test for cocaine use. The procedure is less invasive, more hygienic and faster than established approaches, which typically test blood, urine or saliva. Portable versions could be available to law enforcement agencies within the next decade.
Have you recently taken an illicit drug? You have the right to remain silent, but if authorities really need an answer, there’s a global testing industry worth several billion dollars on hand to help, with an array of analytical techniques. Potentially adding to this arsenal, a team of scientists led by Melanie Bailey at the University of Surrey have now demonstrated a formidable test for cocaine – don’t sweat, it only needs one fingerprint.
Rapid detection of cocaine, benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine in fingerprints using surface mass spectrometry
Melanie J. Bailey, Robert Bradshaw, Simona Francese, Tara L. Salter, Catia Costa, Mahado Ismail, Roger P. Webb, Ingrid Bosman, Kim Wolff and Marcel de Puit
Analyst, 2015, Advance Article