The Forensic Toxicology centre of the Brazil Scientific Police (Núcleo de Toxicologia Forense do IML-SP) have adopted the leading methodology for Drugs of Abuse testing; Biochip Array Technology.
Developed by UK manufacturer Randox Toxicology, the novel Biochip method allows samples to be screened for a comprehensive panel of drugs simultaneously.
With the high class Evidence analyzer, the Forensic Toxicology Centre has been able to enhance the service that they provide throughout the state of Sao Paulo.
The Brazil Scientific Police are a recognized provider of forensic services including substance abuse or dependence, post-mortem examinations, sexual assault, analysis of injuries and accidents at work.
They carry out toxicological analysis in urine, blood and forensic specimens. The majority of toxicology cases are as urine samples which must be screened and confirmed by different methods before results can be reported.
In 2010, the Scientific Police laboratory decided to evaluate Biochip Array Technology in order to replace a Dimension analyzer. They began with the bench-top Evidence Investigator and correlated results for urine and tissue samples against their current methods.
The laboratory staffs were pleased with the results that they could achieve on the Biochip system. Not only could they detect fourteen drugs simultaneously per sample, the biochips also offered significant time savings.
Following this, the Scientific Police laboratory decided to implement the higher spec Evidence analyzer, offering fully automated testing of over twelve hundred samples in one hour.
The multi-matrix system is applicable with a range of biological samples including post-mortem blood and tissue. The director of the Institute of Legal Medicine of Sao Paulo, Roberto Souza Camargo commented in a local news report:
"The Evidence analyzer can identify fourteen groups of drugs simultaneously in blood and urine. With the result, we can start the specific analysis for the type of drug found… when cocaine is identified in the sample, we can then target that specific drug to confirm the result."
The Evidence system works with highly sensitive assays which take place on a small, pre-fabricated biochip.
A unique feature of the Randox Toxicology biochip arrays is that separate targeted assays are utilized for various drug groups such as Benzodiazepine and Oxycodone. This ensures optimum specificity is achieved.