Advanced technology improves airborne pathogen measurement, says Air Monitors

Employs a wet-walled cyclone technology that collects airborne particles in a liquid at a high flow rate

Coriolis µ offers advantages for sampling air with a high bioaerosol burden

Many traditional methods for detecting airborne sources of contamination rely on the deposition of these materials onto a surface: surface swabs might be taken, for example, or bioaerosol sampling with a sampler that relies on the impact of biological particles onto a solid growth medium.

But Jim Mills, Managing Director of Air Monitors, an environmental monitoring technology supplier based in Tewkesbury, UK, says these methods are unable to deliver an accurate measurement of airborne load. In contrast, the company's Coriolis µ employs a wet-walled cyclone technology that is said to improve bioaerosol sampling for bacteria, pollen, endotoxins, viruses and fungal spores.

By passing sample air through liquid in a cyclone, the Coriolis µ is able to collect airborne particles in a liquid at a high flow rate (300 litres/m) with validated efficiency. The liquid containing the particles can then be tested using one of a number of rapid microbiological analysis methods.

Air Monitors says the Coriolis µ offers advantages for sampling air with a high bioaerosol burden (which would saturate traditional solid media) because the liquid can be divided into multiple agar plates. This technology is also suitable for cleanroom applications in which air has a low burden, because the Coriolis µ can sample for an extended period.

'This technology is ideal for a wide variety of applications including pharmaceutical manufacture, hospitals, surgeries, care homes, cruise ships, animal housing, composting and any other facilities in which airborne pathogens represent a risk,' said Mills.

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