New technology yields a breathalyzer that detects cocaine within minutes
University of Buffalo is making on-site drug testing for cocaine a reality thanks to a new low-cost chemical sensing chip. The chip has the potential to be used in hand-held devices, which would allow the police to detect cocaine in someone’s breath, spit, blood or urine. An associate professor at the University of Buffalo spoke to The New York Post about this innovation.
“Currently, there is a great demand for on-site drug testing,” said Qiaoqiang Gan, associate professor of electrical engineering in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “The high-performance chip we designed was able to detect cocaine within minutes in our experiments.”
The technique used for this detection is called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and the University of Buffalo’s new development enables a faster detection speed at a small cost.
The hope is that the technology will be able to detect other illicit substances in the future, such as opioids.