Westinghouse Electric is developing portable, hand-held sensors capable of detecting numerous drugs of abuse (cocaine, heroin, amphetamines) and explosives (trinitrotoluene, pentaerythritol tetranitrate, nitroglycerin). The easy-to-use system consists of a reusable electronics module and disposable probes. The sensor illuminates and detects light transmitted through optical cells of the probe during an antibody-based latex agglutination reaction. Each probe contains all the necessary reagents to carry out a test in a single step. The probe has the ability to lift minute quantities of samples from a variety of surfaces and deliver the sample to a reaction region within the device. The sensor yields a qualitative answer in 30 to 45 seconds and is able to detect illicit substances at nanogram levels.