908 Devices, known for its analytical devices for chemical and biomolecule analysis, has announced a new software update for MX908, which includes the introduction of a new mission mode – Drug Hunter. This mode unlocks additional resolving power from the device's existing hardware to dramatically upgrade selectivity, which provides first responders with optimal detection and identification capabilities for a subset of the MX908's target list, including a broad range of fentanyls, opioids, and amphetamines.
In addition to the Drug Hunter mode, the software update includes two new additional modes—Chemical Warfare Hunter and the Explosive Hunter—which provide enhanced performance for those missions.
As synthetic opioids—primarily fentanyl and its analogues—continue to pose a growing threat, first responders are increasingly turning to chemical detection devices to combat the problem. Harnessing the power of 908 Devices' patented and award winning high-pressure mass spectrometry (HPMS) technology, this product update enables MX908 to selectively detect and identify low-concentration street drugs in the real world.
"In the past 10 years, we've seen a stark pivot in how fentanyl is being used. What was originally developed to help cancer patients combat pain is now being mixed into drugs such as heroin and cocaine, often unbeknownst to the buyer, for a cheaper sale," said Dr. Christina Baxter, CEO of Emergency Response Tips, LLC and former Program Manager for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) subgroup at the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG). "As this problem has grown into an epidemic, new and innovative technologies will be instrumental in protecting first responders and communities from these threats and fighting this battle head on."
Leveraging MX908, first responders can now detect fentanyl at trace-level. Recent independent lab testing demonstrates that MX908 can accurately detect substances with purity levels that are as low as 1% concentration, whereas other devices can only be leveraged on substances with a 5% to 10% concentration. This capability allows responders to detect a variety of fentanyl analogs, ranging from traditional fentanyl to carfentanyl, which is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.
"When we first deployed MX908 last June, our goal was to continue to evolve its threat list to address the chemical dangers currently fueling community epidemics, public safety concerns, and military response," said John Kenneweg, Vice President, 908 Devices. "Six months after launch, we are proud to introduce this update to address the fentanyl epidemic. The Drug Hunter mode transforms MX908 into a more sensitive and selective device, allowing us to help combat the threats that plague our communities."