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Home Biotechnologies New test-systems for detection of some psychotropic drugs and technogenic toxic substances

New test-systems for detection of some psychotropic drugs and technogenic toxic substances


Express-tests are the most suitable method of fast and simple control of the presence of dangerous substances in out of laboratory conditions. Test is based on the indicator chemical reactions where the determined substances form the coloured products or discolour the initial reagents.

We developed some test-systems for determination of the following psychotropic compounds:

  • opiates,
  • hemp (cannabinoides),
  • barbiturates,
  • 1,4 - benzodiazepines,
  • phenothiazines.

These tests can be used for analyses the initial products and medicinal forms. The test methods for detection and semiquantitative determination of active chlorine in water and nitrates in fruits and vegetables have been developed too. The test methods for determination of the heavy metals traces in the potable and natural waters are being developed also.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

The proposed tests were based on the new indicator reactions of complexation (opiate-, barbiturate- and metal-tests), of the diazotation and azocoupling (cannabis- and nitrate-tests) as well as of the oxidation condensation (phenothiazine(2)-test). The paper, polymethylmethacrylate, polyurethane foam, glass as the substrates were used. Some test-systems were designed as indicator papers, markers, spray or dropping bottles. (Photo).

It takes no more than 2-3 min. for testing which is accompanied by colour change for:

  • opiate from lilac to blue,
  • hemp from colorless to red,
  • barbiturates from red-violet to yellow,
  • phenothiazines from colorless to violet,
  • 1,4-benzodiazepines – the preservation of blue colour.

Test selectivity checking has shown that the pharmaceuticals of other groups give negative results under the chosen conditions. Test positive result should be rechecked in the lab conditions. The test detection limits for the pharmaceutical drugs are being below several tenth of mg powder in a solution drop. The high sensitivity, reliability, simple carrying out and low cost are the main advantages of the developed tests. The obtained analytical effect may be observed visually or by means of portable instruments.

Areas of Application

The development of new fast chemical methods (tests) for out of laboratory detection of extremely dangerous substances, in particular, technogenic toxic and physiologically active substances may be a matter of interests for the firms producing materials for chemical testing, chemical reagents and other materials of "fine chemicals".

The use of the express-tests will favour the struggle against non-medical use and expansion of some pharmacological psychotropic drugs among the population due to their timely detection.

New test-systems for detection of some psychotropic drugs
Fig. 1 “Opiate-test” is realized in the form of indicator papers,
markers and sprayers.

Stage of Development

The some developed express-tests were covered by patents of Ukraine; others indicator reactions are being studied.

Contact Details

Research and Production complex “Institute for Single Crystals” of National Sciences Academy of Ukraine
Contact person: Tatyana Ivanovna, Ph.D., Senior researcher
Address: 60 Lenin Avenue, Kharkov, 61001, Ukraine
Теl: (38057) 341 01 06
Fax: (38057) 340 93 43
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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