Identification and assessment of personal exposures to airborne biological contaminants (bioaerosols) are vital in medical, security, and industrial and many other applications. Safety and security systems require the development of advanced personal devices capable of collecting and detecting aerosol agents at low levels; however today’s sampling devices are ill suited to the current challenges because they require cumbersome sampling pumps and tubing which limits their operation time and deployment. In addition, most of the personal devices operate at low flow rates which does not allow for rapid detection, analysis, and identification of sampled particles.
A novel personal bioaerosol sampler has been developed that measures exposures to low microorganism concentrations – a feature lacking in current personal bioaerosol samplers – thus substantially improving detection and identification of threats. The system draws particles into an open channel sampler, where the particles are electrically charged using a novel ionizer, and deposited onto a plate covered by a superhydrophobic substance. After sampling, the plate is removed and the collected particles washed-off and analyzed immediately and on-site. The sampler is self-contained and does not require an external pump or power source. In addition, it operates at flow rates much higher than other personal sampling devices thus enabling detection of low biological agent concentrations.
Personal exposure monitoring with sensitivity to airborne biologics is important in industrial, security, and health related applications. This technology is particularly important in health related applications for which near-real time detection and analysis of biologics are vital.
- High collection efficiency at sampling flow rates that are much higher than those of currently available personal bioaerosol samplers
- Ability to operate for extended periods of time (testing for up to 8 hours)
- Low weight and operation by battery (no external pump needed)
Intellectual Property & Development Status:
Prototype Available for Inspection. Issued patent, US 8721767 and related intellectual property available for licensing and/or research collaboration.