In situ optical measurements of bacterial endospore breakdown in a shock tube
The interaction of endospore-laden bioaerosols and shock waves is monitored with a combination of laser absorption and scattering. Tests are performed in the Stanford aerosol shock tube for post-shock temperatures ranging from 400–1100 K. In situ laser measurements at 266 and 665 nm provide a real-time monitor of endospore morphology. Scatter of visible light measures the integrity of endospore structure, while absorption of UV light provides a monitor of biochemicals released by endospore rupture. For post-shock temperatures greater than 750 K endospore morphological breakdown is observed. A simple theoretical model is employed to quantify the optical measurements, and mechanisms leading to the observed data are discussed.