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Miniature PCR Based Portable Bioaerosol Monitor Development.

ABSTRACT

A portable bioaerosol monitor is highly demanded technology in many areas including air quality control, occupational exposure assessment and health risk evaluation, environmental studies and, especially, in defence and bio-terrorism applications. Our recent groundwork allowed us to formulate the concept of a portable bioaerosol monitor, which ought to be light, user friendly, reliable and capable of detecting airborne pathogens within 1 -1.5 hours at the spot.Conceptually, the event of bioaerosol concentration burst is determined by triggers, commencing representative air sampling with sequential real-time PCR confirmation of the targeted microorganism presence in the air. To minimise the reagent consumption and idle running of the technology, an event of the bioaerosol burst is confirming by three parameters: aerosol particles size, concentration and composition. The only particles sizes above 200 nm attract interest towards the bioaerosol. The only elevated aerosol concentration above the threshold (background aerosol concentration) is a signal for analytical procedure commencement. The combination of our previously developed personal bioaerosol sampler, aerosol particle counter based trigger and portable real-time PCR device formed the basis of bioaerosol monitoring technology. The portable real-time PCR device was advanced to provide the internally controlled detection, significantly reducing false positive alarms.The technique is capable to detect selected airborne microorganisms at a spot within 30 - 80 minutes, depending on the particular strain genome organisation.Due to recent outbreaks of infectious airborne diseases and the continuing threat of intentionally-released bioaerosol attacks, investigations into the possibility of early and reliable detection of pathogenic microorganisms in the air is becoming increasingly important. The proposed technology consisting of a bioaerosol sampler, technology trigger and PCR device is capable to detect selected airborne microorganisms at a spot within short time period. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.