I was recently introduced to portable molecular sensors at a conference. One example is Consumer Physics' SCiO. Does anyone have experience using portable molecular sensors? If so, I'd value input on whether this tool might be applied for low-cost, in-situ identification of 'ivory' in legal/illegal retail.
When 'ivory' is visually examined, it can be challenging to confirm whether the material is elephant ivory, especially if Schreger lines are not visible. Common elephant ivory look-alikes include:
- Mammoth ivory
- Walrus tooth
- Sperm whale and killer whale teeth
- Narwhal tusk
- Hippopotamus tooth
- Wart hog tusk
- Animal bone and antler
- Vegetable ivory (tagua nut)
- Giant clam shell
- Synthetic materials and resins
I assume all of these materials would have unique molecular compositions. Could these be identified and classified using a portable sensor? If so, it could have invaluable applications. Inputs appreciated.