Navigation Links
New technique enables drug tests via exhaled breath

A new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet presents a new technique that makes drug testing possible through exhaled air for the first time. By examining people who had received emergency care for an amphetamine overdose, the researchers found that in all cases there were traces of amphetamine and metamphetamine in the exhaled breath.

"Traditionally, drugs tests have been carried out using urine and blood samples," says Professor Olof Beck, who led the study. "In recent years we've been trying to find simpler alternatives using saliva, which, unfortunately, has proved difficult. Our results open the way for a new kind of drugs test, which is simple and safe to conduct and that requires no integrity-violating monitoring or medical staff."

Drug abuse is a huge social problem and drugs tests are used widely and comprehensively by the healthcare and social services, the legal system, at workplaces and schools. Reliable drugs tests are important for making correct diagnoses and for keeping tabs on drug users to ensure that they are following their prescribed treatment. Alcohol use can easily be checked in a breathalyser, and the technology is available for conducting measurements in a way that does not violate a person's integrity. Measurements of other substances in the exhaled breath are also available for diagnosing diseases such as cancer, asthma and diabetes.

In this present study, which is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have developed a new and unique method for collecting narcotic substances from the exhaled breath. This they did by asking subjects to breathe into a specially designed mask for ten minutes, whereupon the exhaled air was collected and passed through a filter, which trapped the narcotic substances. These filters were then analysed using combined liquid chromatography and tandem mass-spectrometry, techniques that are highly sensitive and reliable.

The researchers took samples from 12 patients who had been admitted into emergency care with toxic symptoms after having taken amphetamines. The samples were taken after the effects of the drug had worn off and with the permission of the regional ethical review board in Stockholm. The ingestion of the drug was confirmed in the patient group through urine and blood samples. In all cases, the researchers were able to ascertain the presence of amphetamine and metamphetamine (a narcotics-classed central-stimulating substance similar to amphetamine) in the exhaled breath as well. The measured excretion rate was between 0.2 and 139 pg/min, which is very low compared to the blood and urine. No amphetamine or metamphetamine were detected in samples from healthy controls.

"The results are convincing and very promising," says Professor Beck. "The study is the first to report the possibility of measuring drugs in the exhaled breath, and represents a unique, unexpected finding. We now have to move on to other drugs that are of interest for this type of breath test, and to develop the sampling and analysis methods. An instrument like a breathalyser for drugs would be the optimal solution for the efficient control of drug use by motorists, for example."


Contact: Katarina Sternudd
Karolinska Institutet

Related biology news :

1. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
2. University of Leicester scientists discover technique to help friendly bacteria
3. New technique reveals subtle force-induced changes in biomolecules conformation
4. New magnetic separation technique might detect multiple pathogens at once
5. New technique captures chemical reactions in a single living cell at unprecedented resolution
6. Software Techniques Inc. Selects M2SYS Fingerprint Software to Meet Continuous Growth and Demand for Desktop Biometric Time & Attendance Solutions
7. New X-ray technique targets terrorists and tumors
8. Technique controls nanoparticle size, makes large numbers
9. New technique could dramatically lower costs of DNA sequencing
10. New techniques create butanol
11. New radar satellite technique sheds light on ocean current dynamics
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... -- Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. Dick W. ... --> --> Mr. Boyce ... at TPG Capital, one of the largest global investment ... revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating Group, which ... 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, he served ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has ... of MIT and Harvard for use of its ... information management tools. The partnership will support the ... biological and chemical research information internally and with ... be used for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... About signature verification Signature ... identify and verify the identity of an individual ... secure and accurate method of authentication and is ... because each individual,s signature is highly unique. Signature ... signature of an individual is compared and matched ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015 Today the Allen Institute ... Seattle,s South Lake Union neighborhood, the ... Mercer Street and Westlake Avenue North, the 270,000 square ... Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for ... and founder of the Allen Institute. "We started by ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Oxford Finance LLC ("Oxford"), a specialty finance ... healthcare services companies, today announced the closing of a ... ("the Company"). Proceeds from the loan are being used ... Rejuvaphyl™ and daily skincare products. --> ... of high potency skincare products that contain the proprietary ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... announces Park NX10 SICM Module, an add-on scanning ion conductance microscopy module to ... of SICM to an AFM. , Park SICM benefits virtually all materials characterization ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD ) ... the Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New ... is reaffirming its outlook for the fourth quarter of ... to discussing longer term business model expectations. ...  "We continue to be the fastest growing company of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: