Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Tewksbury, are one of three local companies contributing to the design and production of the TruNarc, a device that helps law enforcement detect drugs including cocaine, MDMA and molly, according to a report from Boston Business Journal.
Thermo Fisher, Somerville-based Altitude Inc. and the former Wilmington-based Ahura Scientific Inc. (acquired by Thermo Fisher in 2010) began working on the device in 2004, according to BBJ.
The TruNarc can scan through plastic or glass, reducing contamination and preserving evidence, according to BBJ.
Thermo Fisher, Ahura and Altitude began working on the device by attempting to find ways to adapt the lab-based technology to a handheld device and make the device easy to use for someone with little training, according to BBJ.
Alex Tee, principal mechanical engineer at Altitude Inc., told BBJ that the current technology for detecting narcotics takes several steps and often creates opportunities for failure.
According to BBJ, there are currently more than 12 TruNarc devices being used in the field in New England, while the technology continues to be tested for field use.