With the onset of the corona pandemic, the Institute of Technical Physics uses its expertise in the spectroscopy of biological substances to develop new ways of detecting viral pathogens.
In a joint approach, the DLR Institutes of Technical Physics, Aerospace Medicine, Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, Vehicle Concepts, System Architectures in Aviation (Hamburg) and Software Technologies are bringing together their expertise to detect the spread of viral pathogens and contain their effects.
Therefore, the participating institutes have founded the Research Training Group "Fighting Pandemic Threats", for which doctoral students are researching solutions for the detection and decontamination of polluted indoor air in vehicles, trains and aircraft cabins.
In the cooperation project AVLase 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 measuring principle and the market potentials were tested as part of a feasibility study with a positive result:
Figure 76 Comparison of avLase's predicted capability profile with common PCR and lateral flow rapid tests.
The test device provides a statement about the infection status within a few minutes on the basis of a saliva sample. The aim is to achieve an output of ten tests per minute.
In terms of sensitivity and hit rate, the system is expected to be situated between commercially available rapid antigen tests and PCR tests.
The system developed in the AVLase project is suitable for applications with a high, continuous volume of tests such as trade fairs, airports and health and care facilities
The design concept allows easy adaptation to future, novel pathogens. The AVLase project is supported by DLR Technology Marketing in order to find a rapid transition to the market.