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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Drug Detection


The Device for Detection of Narcotics Transported Inside or on the Human Body

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-DET/Detection Devices/Instrumentation
  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Komarkov D A

Leading Institute
Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Russia, Moscow reg., Chernogolovka


  • Quantum Magnetics, Inc., USA, CA, San Diego\nBruker Analytik GmbH, Germany, Karlsruhe\nNew Mexico Resonance, USA, NM, Albuquerque\nRheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule / Institute of Technical Chemistry and Macromolecular Chemistry, Germany, Aachen

Project summary

This project proposes the development and engineering of the device for detection of solid and powdered narcotics transported inside or on the human body(body packers).
In the recent years the amount of narcotics trafficked in by couriers has dramatically increased. The known physical methods , except those based on X-Rays ,do not detect narcotics hidden inside or on the courier’s body. However, the use of X-Ray in custom passenger inspection systems is restricted because of its harmful influence on a human.
The proposed device is based on the effect of NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and is completely harmless for humans. The little measurement time (about several seconds) allows to perform the continuous surveillance of all passengers in case of necessity.
IPCP RAS is experienced in NMR-investigation of solids of such a kind. The research workers of the IPCP has a huge background in development of NMR, MRI- equipment. They are familiar with main manufacturers of electronic components, required for creation of such a devices.
The work is planned to be carried out in two stages :
First stage – development of model device for narcotic drugs detection, laboratory testing, documentation release in IPCP RAS. The period of the model development is 24 months.
Second stage – designing the magnetic system for operational device, documentation release for operational device and its special assemblies and units. The period of the second stage is 12 months. Total time for design complete – 3 years.
Accordingly to IPCP’s technical information, serial devices for narcotics detection are manufactured nowhere in the World, at present the development of model device for narcotic detection is in progress in USA.
Contemplating Technical Specifications.
The device will consist of impulse transmitter, electromagnet, transmitting and receiving resonators, pre-amplifier, NMR-signal receiver, computer-based control system.
Estimated signal registration time : 3-5 sec.
Sensibility ( by substance quantity) : 10 grams.
Weight of electromagnet :about 4000 kg.
For the task to be performed successfully and in the shortest possible time it is proposed to buy some electronic units from leading manufacturers (Germany, USA, England,).
As a result of the project execution the possibility of experimental serial capable sample of the device for detections of narcotics manufacturing by ICPC RAS specialists in the short term (1 year) is unclosed, followed by dispose it in one of the international airports, where the greatest stream of "swallowers" is watched. This possibility may be implemented at presence of the customer and financing of operations.
Other variant can be transmission of technical and designed documentation of an electromagnet, lift, electronic units and circuits to a corporation, ready to produce of an experimental sample with the subsequent serial release, with necessary consultations and technical support on the part of the ICPC RAS specialists.
The operational device installed in airports, railway stations etc. can to a greate extent increase the efficiency of customs in anti-narcotics war.
The potential role of foreign collaborators might consist in discussions of the theoretical and technical questions and carrying out co-operative workshops.


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