Don’t Doob and Drive might soon become a warning sign if this potalyser comes into effect. Students at Stanford University, US have made ‘Potalyser’ or as they say ‘A breathalyzer test for weed.’ The new test could help onfield officers to test the level of Marijuana intoxication with the help of the driver’s saliva in under three minutes. This roadside test would also show the level of concentration of the drug in the driver’s body.
Developed by Shan Wang, a Stanford professor, “the team created a mobile device that uses magnetic biosensors to detect tiny THC molecules in saliva. No device currently on the market can quickly provide a precise measurement of a driver’s marijuana intoxication as effectively as a breathalyser gauges alcohol intoxication, researchers said,” reported the Indian Express.
They say that currently urine and blood samples are being used to find the drug intoxication which might not be useful for the onfield officer. With this test, they could read the results on their smartphones or laptops and all they have to do is collect a spit sample on a cotton swab. “In the test, saliva is mixed with THC antibodies, which bind to any THC molecules in the sample. Then the sample is placed on a disposable chip cartridge, which contains magnetoresistive (GMR) sensors pre-coated with THC, and inserted into the handheld reader. The device then uses Bluetooth to communicate results to the screen of a smartphone,” reported Economic Times.
The buzz around the innovation is positive with what it can achieve in future when it comes to drug abuse. Indian Express also reported that, “THC, the drug’s most potent psychoactive agent, is commonly screened for in laboratory blood or urine tests – not very helpful for an officer in the field. The platform has potential usefulness beyond THC. The GMR biosensors in the device could detect any small molecule, meaning that the platform could also test for morphine, heroin, cocaine or other drugs. With 80 sensors built into it, the GMR biosensor chip could screen a single sample for multiple substances. The team has already tried screening for morphine with promising results.”
Once adopted by the US, it seems pretty likely that other countries will follow.
Feature Image Courtesy: NDTV