Bioaerosol detection using potentiometric tomography in flames

5 July 2012

Dimitris Sarantaridis, Christian Hennig and Daren J. Caruana

Chem. Sci., 2012,3, 2210-2216

DOI: 10.1039/C2SC20304A


Published article in Chemical Science.

Counting and identification of airborne biological particles is actually a very difficult analytical challenge. The current method is based on trapping the particles on an adhesive strip placed on a clockwork powered rotating drum. This is an antiquated technology developed in the 1970’s and is still used for pollen monitoring today. The method Dr Daren Caruana and co-workers described in this publication is based on the propensity for a particle to combust, similar to fragmentation using a laser on the front end of a mass spectrometer (e.g. MALDI); but then the detection of the fragments here is based on an electrical detection (potentiometry). This approach is cost-effective requiring a flame, electrodes and a voltmeter. In this paper we demonstrate the potential to provide a viable approach for the detection and identification of bioaerosols in real time using a robust gas phase based electrochemical approach.

Chemical Science online: