Friday, May 25, 2012

No. 521: A small mass spectrometer capable of detecting stimulants and narcotics (May 25, 2012)

HitachiHigh-Technologies developed a small mass spectrometer that can detect stimulants and narcotics. It is less than one tenth of the existing standard mass spectrometer in terms of price and weight, and it can examine drugs in urine at a concentration of one ten millionth. It is the world’s first portable analyzing device that supports the investigations of Drugs of Abuse. Using its self-developed algorithm, the company allowed the device to tell the existence of drugs in a sample in less than five minutes. If drugs are detected, it displays the names of the detected drugs automatically on the screen. That is, no expertise is required, and investigators can handle the device easily in the field. At present, no device capable of detecting drugs in the field is available.

The company developed this device in alliance with Hitachi, University of Yamanashi, Kobe Gakuin University, and National Police Agency. The research team successfully downsized the device by reviewing the sizes of ionization sources and the analysis module. The number of illegal drugs is on the increase lately, but the device can increase the number of illegal drugs that it can support only by adjusting the database. The company plans to commercialize it in 2012 and put it on the domestic and foreign markets in 2013. It weighs 10 kg. The unit price is scheduled to be about 10 million yen.

A new portable mass spectrometer capable of detecting stimulants and narcotics in five minutes from Hitachi High-Technologies

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