Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) have developed a prototype analyzer for rapid meldonium and other drugs testing athletes. The device is based on a electrochemical method that allows displaying test results immediately.
TPU devices will be different from similar imported by mobility, user-friendly interface, as well as in dozens of times less cost - the Tomsk device is expected to cost up to USD 1,500.
"The most popular method to test meldonium in the athlete blood is gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection, - says Olga Mezentseva, post-graduate student at the TPU Institute of Natural Resources. - This method involves using rare and expensive reagents, the process of samples preparation for analysis is also expensive. Our reagents are affordable, and therefore inexpensive. The electrodes, which we use in the device are standard and fit most voltohmmeter devices."
In addition, the analyzer is easy to use, thanks to an intuitive interface, and most importantly is it is compact and does not require using additional software. Similar devices require post-processing of results - you need a computer on which special software to be installed. The polytechnicers' device provides test results immediately on the display.
"Initially, our research team developed a technique for rapid meldonium testing in the athlete body, but now we have set ourselves a broader task - to develop devices to test athletes on different types of drugs," - says Olga Mezentseva.
She notes that the basis of such a device is an electrochemical technique, which allows detecting a substance after current exposure. This technology has long been used by TPU scientists for identifying many organic substances. To "fine-tune" the device to test one or another banned drug, a laboratory staff member will be sufficient to change electrodes in the device.
"Firstly a prototype of our device was presented at U-NOVUS forum for young scientists. Now we are carrying out with colleagues metrological evaluation of the developed technique. Plan to develop the chosen direction, improve the device.
By the end of 2016, we intend to create the first prototypes of universal electrochemical analyzers," - says Olga Mezentseva.