Australia-based BrainChip Research Institute and Biotome have entered into a research partnership to develop antibody tests for infections such as SARS-CoV-2.

BrainChip’s Akida neuromorphic processor chip will be used to infer sensor responses and to analyse which responses are most representative for protective antibodies.

The research project is aimed at designing a handheld device that will deliver precise results in seconds by using nanomaterial-based sensors and the Akida chip.

Biotome CEO Dr Samuel Lundin said: “Our partnership with BrainChip is an important step for our development of point-of-care tests that are based on patented high-precision immunological markers.

“The joint project we are embarking on aims to use Akida to identify the antibodies that can protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection – the so-called neutralising antibodies.”

The Akida processor has a major role in the development due to its ability to learn new sensory data patterns rapidly and categorise the results in milliseconds while consuming just microwatts of power.

Because the advanced diagnostic equipment works on small batteries, it can be more easily used in remote locations.

BrainChip’s Akida chip takes artificial intelligence beyond the edge of what existing technologies are capable of. A wide range of capabilities are offered by the high-performance, small and ultra-low power solution.

The Akida neuromorphic system-on-chip (NSoC) and intellectual property can be used in Smart Home, Smart Health, Smart City and even Smart Transportation applications. With interfaces for ADAS sensors, audio and video sensors, medical sensors and other IoT sensors, it is designed for usage as a stand-alone embedded processor or as a co-processor.

BrainChip interim CEO Peter van der Made said: “The use of the Akida neuromorphic processor in antibody detection and other medical diagnostic tools is a testimony to our efforts to help in the development of beneficial Artificial Intelligence applications around our chip.”