A single-particle multichannel bio-aerosol fluorescence sensor
Kaye, Paul H.
Foot, E. V.
We describe a prototype low-cost multi-channel aerosol fluorescence sensor designed for unattended deployment in medium to large area bio-aerosol detection networks. Individual airborne particles down to ~1µm in size are detected and sized by measurement of light scattered from a continuous-wave diode laser (660nm). This scatter signal is then used to trigger the sequential firing of two xenon sources which irradiate the particle with UV pulses at ~280 nm and ~370 nm, optimal for excitation of bio-fluorophores tryptophan and NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) respectively. For each excitation wavelength, fluorescence is detected across two bands embracing the peak emissions of the same bio-fluorophores. Current measurement rates are up to ~125 particles/s, corresponding to all particles for concentrations up to 1.3×104 particles/l. Developments to increase this to ~500 particles/s are in hand. Device sensitivity is illustrated in preliminary data recorded from aerosols of E.coli, BG spores, and a variety of non-biological materials. © 2005 Optical Society of America