908 Devices’ MX908 unlocks detection capabilities for more than 2000 fentanyl variants

908 Devices, a pioneer of purpose-built analytical devices for chemical and biomolecular analysis, today announced the addition of a novel predictive fentanyl classifier for their MX908 multi-mission trace chemical detection device. The company will preview this new capability with law enforcement at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 2018 conference in Orlando.

Identification of fentanyl and its analogs is typically conducted using a library-based search that compares an unknown field sample to a set of known, previously measured compounds. If no library match is found, law enforcement officers have no immediate way to determine if a material is harmless, or if it is a new fentanyl variant which poses a very dangerous exposure risk. With 2000+ possible fentanyl variants, reliable library-based identification is next to impossible in the long term.

908 Devices has measured a broad range of fentanyl analogs with the MX908’s Drug Hunter mode and identified predictable mass fragment loss patterns leading to the development of predictive classification algorithms that can recognize the molecular structure of more than 2000 previously undetectable fentanyl analogs. Up to 75% of novel analogs were detected in independent testing with several government partners on standards and street level drug substances. This advance provides an alert to law enforcement officials in minutes to a previously undetectable threat.

The Special Investigations & Narcotics Units at the Quincy, MA Police Department put the MX908 to work in the field recently. “We have been using the MX908 for the past few months and it has already proven to be a tremendous asset in the field for maintaining Officer safety while being able to detect trace elements of multiple drugs in as short as 20-30 seconds,” said Patrick Glynn, Lieutenant Det., Commander.

“Protecting the lives of responders and the public is critical. The fentanyl crisis is no longer just a drug problem, it’s a public safety problem,” said Mark Norman, Product Manager for the MX908 platform. “New analogs hit the streets every day. This predictive capability future-proofs identification of fentanyls for first responders ¾no other technology can do this.”

A simple, 2-minute software update brings this new predictive fentanyl classification capability to MX908 systems already deployed in the field.

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