We have developed a reliable, portable and low-cost device for the detection of illicit drugs.
Around 8% of working age Australians have suffered a drug-use disorder in their lifetimes. Criminal behaviour, domestic violence and mortality all surround those affected. It is estimated that substance abuse costs the Australian economy more than $50 billion per year.
On-site testing is one of the most effective methods of discouraging drug abuse. Despite this, few fast, accurate and low cost testing methods have been available until now. Our new device uses acoustically-driven microfluid technology that enhances the chemi-luminescent detection of drugs in physiological fluids. It is faster, more accurate and smaller than any other device available.
We have demonstrated that police can use the device to detect illicit drugs in drivers as easily as they test for alcohol with a breathalyser. Other applications for the platform include workplace drug tests, patient monitoring in a hospital setting and point-of-care diagnostics.