£30,000, compared to only £5 for each of the antibody testing kits. Nevertheless, researchers are confident the new devices will prove cost-effective, given that they are reusable and can be used to conduct many tests per year.
Moving forward, researchers hope to expand the mass spectrometry test to include a wider variety of substances. While initial cost for the mass spectrometer could be high, the amount saved thanks to reusable testing — as well as increased accuracy — could prove worthwhile.
New roadside test for cocaine developed
Academics in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Surrey in the U.K. have developed a new portable test made for assessing levels of cocaine and benzoylecgonine (the main metabolite of cocaine) in urine or oral fluid samples. Currently, portable testing for cocaine is conducted using antibody-based kits, which cannot show how much of the substance a person has ingested, and are susceptible to false positives.