Nov 112011

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Almost impossible to cheat

Scientists have achieved a technological breakthrough by developing the prototype of a first-of-its-kind hand-held fingerprint drug-testing device.

The device created by University of East Anglia spin-out company Intelligent Fingerprinting, detects drugs and other substances from the sweat contained in fingerprints and will enable mobile testing with instant results.

The company developed the prototype with eg technology – a product design, development and engineering consultancy based in Cambridge.

“The launch of this prototype is a significant milestone,” Paul Yates, business development manager at Intelligent Fingerprinting, said.

“There has already been considerable worldwide interest in the use of the technology for testing within a wide range of applications, including criminal justice forensic science, homeland security, and institutional testing such as prisons and workplaces.”

“But the ability of a hand-held device to carry out testing in-situ brings a whole new range of benefits and opportunities.”

The device will enable testing of fingerprints for illegal drugs and other substances using disposable cartridges.

The samples are quick and easy to collect and do not require specialist handling or biohazard precautions.

Because of the imaging of the fingerprint, they have an in-built watertight chain of evidence continuity and are almost impossible to cheat.

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