Morphine Home Test Results Can Be Printed on Paper

Home testing kits that detect morphine can now be printed on paper, according to findings published by researchers in Finland.

A morphine drug test can now be printed on paper, according to findings published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland aimed to develop a low cost, disposable, and portable paper based diagnostic tool. The researchers involved in the project believe it provides several advantages, including high production volumes, low material costs, as disposability, as well as design freedom based on flexibility of the paper.

“In 2010, we proved that the VTT method works in a hemoglobin assay,” Tomi Erho, Principal Scientist at VTT, explained in a statement. “Through our continued development efforts, we wanted to confirm that the method also works in mass production of more demanding tests. Morphine as a small sized molecule places major requirements on the analytical performance of the test. In the future, the new method will also present an opportunity to simultaneously analyze other drugs of abuse and residues of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites from one and the same sample.”

The paper test uses a rapid analysis to assess whether a compound is present in a given sample, which in this case works to detect morphine. Previously developed morphine and hemoglobin tests have demonstrated that paper works well as a platform for various antibody based testing. Paper can replace nitrocellulose used in rapid testing, which is typically used as a reaction and flow substrate, the researchers noted, and provides a low cost, lightweight, and biodegradable material alternative.

The researchers think that, in the future, the test could be included in workplaces and in connection with traffic control. Paper could become serious competition for plastic based assay platforms in the future, the researchers believe.

An additional benefit of this technology, the statement added, was that the test will be low cost for the consumers as well. The test can be distributed to businesses and authorities in various industries like health care, welfare, and the environment. This is especially useful because rapid diagnostics and testing done outside clinical or analytical laboratories are moving toward home test kits. Using paper tests will ensure more growth of home testing kits.