The new technology was developed by Paul Yates and colleagues from Intelligent Fingerprinting, a company founded by two professors at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
They developed a portable device that can help police to detect particles of drugs that are excreted through the pores of your fingers.
The system applies gold nanoparticles coated with antibodies to fingerprints. The antibodies bind to antigens specific metabolites in the fingerprint and the fluorescent dyes attached to the antibodies will reveal the presence of metabolites.
The technique was first used to detect nicotine, but now it can also be applied on certain drugs, including cocaine, methadone and cannabis.
Since existing tests are either invasive, contaminated, or they are not sensitive enough, the new device can detect nanograms of metabolites in minutes, Yates says.
The device was announced last week at the International Conference of Crime Science UCL in London.