August 2022

A professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Montreal, Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, is developing a rapid detector for the presence of drugs in the blood.

A faster and more efficient detector

The device is digital, and the results are displayed on a mobile device. Compared to other existing models, this detector can provide results in approximately 2 minutes. The portable and fast aspect of the device makes it much more efficient and easier to use.

The detector will be used to measure and control the concentration of drugs in the blood. It will initially be offered to public safety and health personnel, but the developers intend to make it available to the public eventually. The detector can help, for example, in the treatment of patients in hospital emergency rooms, or even when someone wants to monitor their own consumption at home.

A device based on bio-nanotechnology

Professor Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, who specializes in the creation of DNA-based medical technologies, is also co-founder of the company Anasens, which is collaborating in the development of the device. This company works in the field of innovation of home blood analysis technology for the monitoring of chronic diseases. The drug detector’s technology was inspired by the glucometer, a device used to know the level of sugar in the blood, but it will also use DNA’s data to detect the amount of drugs that have been consumed.

The technology has already been proven effective in the lab environment, and the program has received a grant to develop a prototype to be tested in the field. This grant comes from the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and Axelys, a non-profit organization that works to accelerate the development of high-potential innovations from public research.

For more information, you can read the interview Professor Vallée-Bélisle had with the UdeM website and his interview at CBC’s scientific radio programme Les Années Lumière.