908 Devices provides handheld mass spec for trace detection to U.S. Border Patrol


BOSTON — 908 Devices, a pioneer of purpose-built handheld and desktop mass spec devices for chemical and biomolecular analysis, today announced the U.S. Border Patrol selected the MX908 – a handheld, battery-powered, mass spectrometry device – to standardize its trace drug detection at 20 field locations across the U.S. borders, from North to South and in the Caribbean. The U.S. Border Patrol purchased more than 60 MX908 units, which are designed for rapid analysis of vapor, liquid and solid materials of unknown identity, to prevent drug smuggling and to work with local and state law enforcement in support of its counter drug mission. 

The opioid crisis is, unfortunately, worsening.  Drug overdose deaths are on the rise, and the CDC estimates that the U.S. suffered an almost 17% increase in drug-related deaths from May 2019 to May 2020, in part, accelerated by the pandemic. This frightening trend further drives the urgency for the point-of-need analysis that our MX908 provides.

“We’re proud to support U.S. Border Patrol as they field our MX908 devices across their enterprise to provide their first responders with the ability to better serve and protect our borders and country,” said John Kenneweg, Vice President of Government at 908 Devices. “We’ve seen a rise in the creation and distribution of synthetic opioids in particular because not many technologies can identify drugs at these trace levels. Even as bad actors try to trick the system by slightly tweaking analogs, the MX908 helps U.S. agencies like Border Patrol future proof their mode of drug identification, so that the technology they get trained on today can evolve with them in support of their counter drug mission in the years ahead.”

908 Devices’ MX908 is utilized by a wide spectrum of users for a variety of forensic field applications such as chemical, explosive, priority drug and HazMat operations, detecting materials at the trace level. The agile, multi-purpose device empowers front line workers, military personnel, and public safety officers with real-time intelligence in seconds. Elite responders rely on our handheld devices to combat the opioid crisis, detect counterfeit pharmaceuticals and illicit materials in the air or on surfaces at levels 1,000 times below their lethal dose. The MX908 is the only technology of its kind that can detect more than 2000 fentanyl analogs, which is critical as Fentanyl and its many analogs are largely driving the opioid epidemic.”

About 908 Devices
908 Devices makes point-of-need chemical and biomolecular analysis devices ranging from rugged, handheld chemical detection tools to compact, tiny footprint analyzers and fast separation devices. These purpose-built and user-centric devices serve a range of industries including field forensics, life sciences, and other applied markets.

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