Title
A Drug Screening Instrument
Microcontroller Technology Automates Visual Inspection System
Technologies used

    Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    15 Food & Beverages
    2466 Chemical Products
    331 Precision Instruments
Abstract

Cozart Bioscience Limited was founded in 1993, and is a small company of 14 people specialising in the design, development, manufacture and sales of immunoassay strips for drugs testing. The company's products are used in the medical and drugs testing market sectors. Company sales in 1997 were approximately 600 KECU. The company's industrial sector is defined as chemical products (Prodcom Code 2466). Prior to this application experiment, the company had no experience of microelectronics technology.

The existing products are entirely chemical, and require that drug level results be interpreted visually using trained operators. This interpretation is subjective, and as the process is non-linear the process is inadequate for use in widespread drugs testing programmes.

The objective of this application experiment was to develop a device (the Cozart RapiScan) similar to current breath alcohol instruments, but using saliva as the sample for the detection of drugs saliva samples processed by the company's current immunoassay test strips. The improved product is a hand-held instrument complete with integral reader and microcontroller. The functions performed by the improved product include:

  • Displaying the results of the sample evaluation on a LCD display.
  • Result storage and facilities for transferring this information to a PC.
  • LED display status to indicate the progress of the test.
  • Extraction of test sample bar code information and the storage of this data with the test results.

The improved product is an unique product for the drug testing market, providing Cozart with a patented, market leading technological solution to the problem of low cost, widespread drug testing. The improved product enables the company to meet the increasing demand for easy to use, on-site drug screening equipment in such application as prisons, drug addiction centres, clinics and emergency centres, the armed services, pre-employment and employment screening, and roadside drug testing.

The costs of the prototype product development were 46 kEUR, and the application experiment (to the prototype stage) was completed in 8 months.

The increased product sales delivered by the introduction of microcontroller device technology will increase Cozart Bioscience's sales revenues significantly, and produces a payback period of 11.2 months for the prototype development costs. The return on investment for the prototype development costs over the 10 year product life is estimated to be 1,200%.

Company

    Cozart Bioscience Ltd
    45 Milton Park
    Abingdon Oxfordshire
    OX14 4RU
    United Kingdom.


Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Cozart Bioscience Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL
United Kingdom