Researchers in the US say they have developed a low-cost chip that can detect cocaine in minutes.
The team hopes, it leads to the development of a portable cocaine-alcohol controls can tell if a person is the drug.
Currently, it means that the chip can only analyze substances extracted from the blood, breath, urine or saliva samples with a cleaning process.
A road safety group called the research “exciting”.
The new chip is of importance, because it costs to produce just a few pence.
“These results have the potential to improve the speed and accuracy of roadside drug Tests,” said Joshua Harris of the UK road safety charity brake.
“It is shocking, drug-driving was a factor in 81 fatal traffic accidents in the year 2016 and it is clearly an increasing danger on our roads.
“We call on the government to prioritize the type-approved roadside screening devices can detect that all of the prohibited drugs and the streets, insult the police work levels, as a deterrent.”The ‘Layer cake’
Many chemical compounds can be detected using an existing technology called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (Sers).
“The chips for Sers are generally produced using more complex methods,” said researcher Nan Zhang of the University at Buffalo, New York.
“We have our chip by depositing various thin layers of material on a glass substrate, which is cost-effective and suitable for industrial production.”
The University described the chip as a “layer cake”, in which an insulating material is sandwiched between a silver mirror and a layer of material, the particles of gold-and silver-nano.
When a substance such as cocaine, on the chip surface, the light is “scattered” and forming recognizable patterns, the prints as a finger, the reveal of what is available.
The researchers said the chip had a long shelf life and found that it worked well, after 12 months of storage.
The next Phase of the research is a portable test device for the detection of cocaine.
The researchers hope that the chip will recognize also to be able to marijuana.