Thursday, 3 February 2011

Forensic drug testing

As drug abuse and drug related crimes continue to prevail, expert forensic analysis is fundamental to the justice process. Global diagnostic company Randox Laboratories has released a number of new products for drug testing in public and private laboratories worldwide.

Local scientists and engineers at their UK headquarters design and manufacture products including traditional homogeneous methodology, pioneering Biochip Array Technology and Quality Management solutions. As the demand for forensic investigations is at an all time high, toxicologists are under pressure to produce case evidence without delay. Such evidence is vital to understanding events such as road accidents, poisoning and other causes of death. Testing of biological samples can be used to determine the presence of legal and illegal substances which may have been an influencing factor.

In 2010 Randox released a Drugs of Abuse array (DoA I+), adding to their considerable test menu of legal and illegal drugs. Tests available include; amphetamine, methamphetamine, barbituates, benzodiazepine 1 and 2, cannabinoids, cocaine metabolite, methadone, opiates and phencyclidine, buprenorphine, fentanyl, generic opioids, ketamine, LSD, MDMA, methaqualone, oxycodone 1 and 2, propoxyphene, MDMA, Buprenorphine and TCA. All tests are measured simultaneously from a single sample.

A number of drugs analytes are grouped and carried out on a biochip to allow for consolidated testing. Biochip Array Technology has been a ground-breaking development in the practice of forensic analysis, creating a reduction in the amount of time spent on individual tests. The multi-marker process allows toxicologists to determine a substantial amount of information from a small volume of sample, where sample is often limited. Most importantly the technology incorporating proven ELISA principles, provides accurate and reliable results which can be relied on in court.

Forensic evidence may be used in court, therefore it is crucial to have quality assured products and procedures in place. Randox manufacture antibodies onsite allowing them to sustain quality while continually expanding their test portfolio. Randox also offer drug testing solutions for clinical toxicology, workplace drug testing and onsite testing environments.