Technology enables drug-use detection from fingerprints

Intelligent Fingerprinting, a UK-based company that has developed a technology for the simultaneous detection of personal identity and contact with illicit substances from fingerprints, has raised £2m from a consortium of private US-based investors.

The deal follows the recent announcement of the company’s prototype fingerprint drug-testing device — the first of its kind in the world. The investment will allow the product, which detects illegal drugs from the sweat in fingerprints, to be marketed worldwide.

Highly specific antibodies are used to detect the metabolites of drugs in situ in less than 10 minutes. Heroin, cocaine and cannabis use can be detected, along with other substances such as nicotine.