In the AVLase cooperation project with the Institute of Aerospace Medicine and industrial partners, a laser-based rapid test for viral infections is being developed and demonstrated using the example of SARS-CoV2. The measurement principle and market potential were tested as part of a feasibility study with positive results.

Brief Description

AVLase is a rapid test for the detection of viral infections in saliva samples. The samples are freed from impurities using a cleaning process specially tailored to the virus in question. An infrared laser scans the sample and takes a spectral fingerprint, which is used to identify the virus. This two-stage process results in a low detection limit with a low false alarm rate.


Application in test centres, airports and at events

Testing without medical professionals

Automated sample management with parallelised sample preparation and disposal for maximum throughput

Extension of the test spectrum to other virus types, e.g. influenza Extension of the sample spectrum from saliva to e.g. blood or urine samples

Facts and figures

Saliva test: simple sampling

Result after 5-10 minutes

300-400 tests per hour

Low detection limit: < 1 x 105 viruses / mL

High hit rate with low false alarm rate

Direct spectroscopic detection

Rapid adaptation to new viruses

The technology enables the rapid, centralised processing of large test quantities and the simple sample collection and automated preparation means that the test can be carried out contact-free by trained personnel. the core technology is the direct spectroscopic detection of the virus. To extend the test spectrum to other viruses, it is therefore only necessary to adapt the purification procedure: Magnetic nanoparticles are functionalised with specific binding partners tailored to the target virus. The virus binds to the particles according to the lock-and-key principle, thus enabling purification and enrichment of the sample.

The AVLase project is supported by DLR Technology Marketing (VO-TF) in order to ensure a rapid transition to the market.


Frank Duschek

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Technical Physics
Atmospheric Propagation and Effect
Langer Grund, 74239 Lampoldshausen-Hardthausen