Breathalyzer for Psychoactive drugs

Unmet Need: Lack of reliable on site detection method for psychoactive drugs


Rapid detection of drugs of abuse in the field requires innovative approaches for collection and detection. Current approaches such as collection of blood, saliva, urine, sweat, or other bodily fluids may seem attractive but also have the potential to collect identifying biological materials. As such, there exists a need for reliable, fast, and non-invasive devices and methods for detecting psychoactive drugs in a subject that can be used in the field and/or in the workplace.


The Technology: Breathalyzer for psychoactive drugs


This WSU invention relates to a novel breathalyzer design and method that allow for the detection of psychoactive drugs in a biological samples. The collection can occur in the field or in a clinical settings, but once collected the sample is exposed to our patented method that can utilize currently exciting and commercially available mass spectrometers. Currently methods to establish intoxication levels of a suspect range from psychological and physical test, to more invasive methods such as drawing blood, or collecting saliva, urine, sweat, or other bodily fluids. Additionally, conventional breathalyzers rely on quantifying collected vapors found in the suspect’s breath. Given the different chemical properties of psychoactive drugs, the amount of vapor in the suspect’s breath can be very limited and as a result makes convention breathalyzers ineffective. By comparison, our method allows for the detection of samples at low concentrations and is unaffected by the lack of compound found in the vapor. Additionally, our method allows for the destruction of any identifying materials in the sample. As such, this positions our device and method as a primary line of defense for the detection of intoxication for previously undetectable psychoactive drugs. 




•       On site detection of intoxication.

•       Collection and detection of compounds from biological samples.

•       Compliance testing of intoxicants.




•       Provide onsite detection of marijuana and other psychoactive drugs.

•       Removing identifying biological materials while retaining target compounds.

•       Detection of previously undetectable psychoactive compounds.


Patent Information:


US Patent application filed: 15/217, 856

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Punam Dalai
Technology Licensing Associate
Washington State University
(509) 335-1216
Reference No: 1500


Herbert Hill
Brian Clowers

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