Turkish defense giant Aselsan said Monday it has developed an innovative virus diagnosis system that can also be used in the detection of the coronavirus. 

According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency, with the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak, a device development study was initiated at the Aselsan Research Center, with the knowledge obtained within the scope of research for the detection of chemical and biological threats to be used in the detection of the coronavirus.

Based on antibody-based digital detection, the system detects through an optical method using lenses. Samples taken from patients are incubated on disposable cassettes. The cartridge containing the sample taken from the patient is analyzed with artificial intelligence software and the result is reported.

The system aims to detect viruses that show symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections such as COVID-19 and influenza simultaneously on a single cassette. During the system tests, studies were carried out with antigens, inactive and active viruses and successful results were obtained.

It is aimed to achieve a 99% test accuracy rate for the virus diagnosis system, which is at the ethical committee approval stage for hospital tests.

Studies with patient samples will start soon and Aselsan has filed patent applications for the critical components of the system.

Fixture at hospitals

According to Didem Lale Ozkan, lead engineer from Aselsan’s Biodefense Research Programs Unit, the pandemic revealed that domestic solutions were needed in the field of health as soon as possible.

She pointed out that the company focused on the virus diagnosis system with its knowledge of the detection of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

“We have developed a domestic and national system with the work of our own engineers. We detect the COVID-19 virus with this microelectronic optics-based system,” Ozkan noted, adding that after the hospital clinical tests are completed, the production process of the device will start, and it will take its place in hospitals.

*Written by Aysu Bicer

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