Detailed Information

The use of nerve agents is a continuous and serious threat with the most recent examples being the use of Sarin in 2013, VX in 2017 and Novichok in 2018 and 2020. Early detection of these substances allows immediate countermeasures to be taken on site (e.g. decontamination or initiation of therapy).

M.A.I.K® is a mobile and highly sensitive test kit that can easily and quickly be used to detect a surface contamination (e.g. skin) with nerve agents and other cholinesterase inhibitors within a few minutes1.

The principle of M.A.I.K® is based on a simple color reaction:

  • A solution remains colorless when the sampled surface contains an AChE-inhibitor (e.g. a nerve agent).
  • The test solution turns yellow if the surface does not contain an AChE-inhibitor.

M.A.I.K® contains the following components:

M.A.I.K® is a 4-step-measurement, which can be performed easily and quickly. The principle is based on assessing whether human acetylcholinesterase, which is a component of M.A.I.K®, is either still active or inhibited after a surface has been sampled. The sampling of a surface can cause two cases:

AChE remains active if no AChE inhibitor was absorbed during the sampling. Then the AChE can initiate a color reaction in the further progress of the measurement with M.A.I.K®, causing a test solution finally to turn yellow. However, if an AChE inhibitor was absorbed during the sampling, it inhibits the AChE of the M.A.I.K® assay. Due to the inhibition, no color reaction can be initiated, and the test solution remains colorless.

After the measurement has been performed, the color of the solution is compared with a color scale and thus the result is obtained as to whether or not an AChE inhibitor was present on the sampled surface.

1) Worek F, Wosar A, Baumann M, Thiermann H, Wille T. (Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich, Germany), Development of a sensitive, generic and easy to use organophosphate skin disclosure kit, Toxicol. Lett. 2017; 280:190-194.

  • Broad detection spectrum
    Due to the use of human AChE, it is highly sensitive to all human-toxic substances that inhibit AChE (e.g. organophosphates, carbamates)
  • Highly sensitive
    VX can be detected down to a small fraction (approx. 1:20,000) of the human lethal dose
  • Mobile use due to small size and low weight
    several M.A.I.K® can be carried easily during deployment
  • Simple application
  • Fast result within 3 minutes
  • Manufactured in Germany



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Dr. Jürgen Maurer
Head of Productmanagement in vitro diagnostics
Phone: +49 6251 1083-327
Fax: +49 6251 1083-116

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