Design/Advanced Electrostatic Sampler for Total Bioaerosols

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): To improve assessment and control to airborne microorganism exposure, and to protect the populations and resources at risk from airborne microbial agents advanced bioaerosol detection and sensing systems are needed. Commonly used bioaerosol samplers often measure viable bioaerosols which represent only a fraction of airborne microbial flora. In this research, responding to PA-04-030 "NIOSH Exploratory Developmental Grant Program (R21)", we propose to design, construct and evaluate a novel bioaerosol sampler which will improve our ability to determine exposures to total (viable and non-viable) airborne microorganisms. The proposed sampler will be compact, have low power consumption and, most importantly, will feature very high air sample concentration rate (1 million and higher). Such a high sample concentration rate is currently achieve by few other samplers and will significantly improve our ability to detect low airborne microorganism concentrations. In the proposed sampler, the airborne particles will be electrostatically deposited on a superhydrophobic surface ("Lotus leaf " type) from which they will be removed and collected by tiny (10-50 mu L) rolling liquid droplets, e.g. a phenomenon known as self-cleaning. The liquid droplets containing removed microorganisms will then be available for analysis by modern microbiological techniques, such as Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). The new sampler's overall performance (sample collection, extraction, and its subsequent analysis by RT-PCR) when collecting test bacteria and fungi will be evaluated in laboratory and field settings and against other samplers. The development of the electrostatic collector with superhydrophobic collection surface will improve our ability to determine exposure to airborne microorganisms in residential, occupational and environmental settings, thus improving our ability to protect populations are risk. The use of small collection liquid quantities will make the sampler compatible with various "laboratories on a chip" and may lead to near real-time determination of airborne microbial contaminants. In addition, use of electrostatic technique as a particle removal mechanism will enable collection and detection of airborne viruses, such as SARS or monkey pox. The research findings and practical recommendations developed in this research will be disseminated to stakeholders through internet, national and international conferences and workshops.
Effective start/end date8/1/067/31/09


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $174,128.00


  • Medicine(all)

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