A large number of techniques have been developed in the latest decades, which are able to screen and identify specific molecules for drug precursors detection even at very low concentration in lab testing.Nevertheless the objective to build up a system which proves to be easy to use, compact, able to provide screening over a large number of compounds and discriminate them with low false alarm (FA) and high probability of detection (POD) is still an open issue.The project will focus on employing multiple techniques, integrating them in a complex system which employs them in a complimentary approach in order to identify an optimum trade-off between opposite requirements: compactness, simplicity, low cost vs. sensitivity low false alarm rate, selectivity. Known techniques, as fluorescence will be improved by mean of novel proteins, as antibodies to extend Probability of Detection (PoD). The techniques are: 1. A low cost, high data throughput sensing technique, based on UV-Vis-NIR fluorescence. Fluorescence will be enhanced by development of Organic macro-molecules sensitive to specific classes of compounds of interest (ephedrine, pseudoephedryne, P2P, …) in the domain of drug detection. The fluorescence analysis will be based on an ‘opto-chip’ which can incorporate an array of different properly engineered fluorescent chemical protein able to bind to the analytes with an ‘immuno-type’ reaction. An array of classes of compounds can be thus very fast discriminated by one-shot measurement. 2. A high sensitivity and selectivity, but compact and low weight, spectroscopic sensing technique in MIR–IR optical range, based on Laser PhotoAcoustic Sensor (LPAS). Detection of drug precursors based on spectroscopic techniques can guarantee a good selectivity, a low Probability of False Alarm and a suitable operation speed. The size of the photo-acoustic cell can be made as small as possible for a compact sensor and, depending on the performances, it can cost down to 1000€.
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