29 September 2017

Ecstasy test

An electronic chip was taught to determine the level of amphetamine in the blood

"The Attic"

Korean scientists have created a wireless sensor that allows you to quickly and very accurately determine the content of amphetamine derivatives in urine and transmit data to a smartphone.

Amphetamines are a common name for stimulants that activate the dopamine and noradrenaline systems of the brain, responsible, respectively, for reward and mobilization of the body. Since the activation of these systems causes a surge of energy and provokes a sense of self-worth and importance, relatively inexpensive amphetamines from a drug intended for the treatment of nervous disorders quickly turned into a drug popular among young people (colloquially, "aids").

Since amphetamine stimulants are second only to cannabis in terms of frequency of use, it was necessary to develop a fast and relatively inexpensive way to determine amphetamines in the blood. Unfortunately, the existing methods of detecting amphetamines (liquid and gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, solid-phase polymer extraction, and others) work slowly, are very complex and at the same time are quite expensive.

To speed up and reduce the cost of the process, Korean scientists have developed a chemical sensor based on supramolecular systems. These systems are photosensitive self-organizing molecular complexes. The main "hero" of such a complex is a macrocycle (a molecule containing a ring of more than 9 atoms).

Macrocycles are able to recognize and form particularly strong covalent bonds with the ions of certain molecules. Scientists use this property to synthesize dyes, and our body uses macrocycles in the respiratory chain.

Korean scientists have synthesized a special macrocyclic molecule – cucurbituril, built from six fragments. This molecule is characterized by a very high sensitivity to amphetamine molecules – so high that even such a complex and multicomponent solution as urine cannot "throw off the trail" cucurbituril.


Scientists have placed a molecular complex developed by them in a wireless sensor that transmits data to a smartphone. The sensor is based on a water-resistant organic semiconductor coated with a film in which cucurbituril molecules sensitive to amphetamines are embedded. After capturing the amphetamine, the semiconductor transmits a signal to the sensor, which in turn sends a signal to the smartphone.


Scientists hope that inexpensive, flexible, wear-resistant and accurate sensors will find wide application in the healthcare system, and will facilitate the treatment of drug dependence on amphetamines.

The study is published in the journal Chem.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  29.09.2017

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