Outcome of Carnegie/Caledonian PhD Scholarships round 2020
Project Title: Electrochemical assessment of the psychoactivity of new illicit substances
The use of electrochemistry is being investigated as a means of addressing the current gap in forensic practices, which are currently unable to meet the requirements of the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA). The PSA legislates drugs based upon their effect rather than their chemical structure and therefore requires determination of whether a substances is psychoactive or not. However current forensic practices offer no techniques able to meet this requirement, where traditionally lengthy toxicological studies are performed and used in combination with reported user effects. Through the development of a multiplexed electrode array, which utilises electrodes modified with receptors linked to psychoactivity, it is hoped to develop a rapid and simple electrochemical method able to identify whether an unknown substance is psychoactive or not.
Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship
Field: Pure and Applied Chemistry
University: University of Strathclyde