This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I proposal focuses on the development of a small-sized, portable, point-of-contact analytical instrument;a screening tool for the simultaneous detection of alcohol and narcotics. The core technology is a miniature gas chromatograph (Mini-GC) that uses a multi-detector system to analyze the drug traces. Persons adversely affected by drugs of abuse comprise a substantial proportion of the patients that seek care in emergency departments. Seacoast's envisioned low-cost drug screener will provide physicians with an initial assessment of patients to facilitate the treatment decision making and enhance patient throughput. Most importantly, the screening test is non-invasive, does not require a blood or urine sample, but instead collects traces of narcotics and transdermal alcohol from a patient's skin. The sample swabs will be an enhanced version of what is currently used at airports to look for explosives traces. Seacoast's novel Mini GC is independent of bulky carrier gas tanks but has the needed sensitivity through a combination of a synergistic sensor set. Specifically, a polymer coated quartz crystal microbalance, a metal oxide semiconductor, and an electrochemical ethanol sensor from the gas chromatograph's detector module. The idea of monitoring transdermal alcohol by means of an ankle bracelet and the trace detection of narcotics by ion mobility spectroscopy have both been applied separately for years;however, the two concepts have never before been combined in one instrument and made available at low cost. Seacoast's next generation Mini-GC with the multi-detector system will close this gap. This Phase II program is supported by UCSD's Medical Center ER team, which will organize an emergency department field trial where Seacoast's diagnostic Mini-GC will be compared to state-of- the-art urine or blood based toxicological laboratory tests.
Persons adversely affected by drugs of abuse comprise a substantial proportion of the patients that seek care in emergency departments. Seacoast Science proposes a fast, point-of-care drug screen test that will provide physicians with an initia assessment of patients to facilitate the treatment decision making and enhance patient throughput. The test can be applied to every patient seeking emergency care, since the test is non-invasive by collecting traces of narcotics and transdermal alcohol from a patient's skin, rather than requiring a blood or urine sample.