, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 281–291 | Cite as

Measurement of biological aerosol with a fluorescent aerodynamic particle sizer (FLAPS): correlation of optical data with biological data

  • Jim HoEmail author
  • Melvin Spence
  • Peter Hairston


Biological aerosol measurement in real time is anurgent military requirement that also has manypotential non-military applications. Such detectioncapabilities will be useful in environmentalmonitoring, for example, in gathering information inperceived hazardous areas like housing developmentsdownwind of sewage treatment plants.

Experience gained from measuring fluorescence signalsof single bacterial spores under flow cytometry usingUV excitation at 340--360 nm, was applied to concepttesting of a prototype instrument, built to do thesame for aerosols. This machine was capable ofresolving particle size as well as fluorescenceintensity of each particle under laboratory and fieldconditions; it was called the fluorescent aerodynamicparticle sizer (FLAPS). A second generation FLAPS(FLAPS2) was designed to be smaller, power efficientand field portable. FLAPS2 was challenged underrefereed conditions in blind trials to determine if itcould detect biological aerosols in natural fieldenvironment. This paper describes practical aspects ofmeasuring biological aerosols when the results must becompared to reference samplers that provide culturableor ``live'' data. Treatment of particle size andfluorescence information is discussed with respect toFLAPS and reference data fidelity. Finally, anobjective method is introduced to evaluate FLAPS datacorrelation to reference data. The measurementssuggest that there is positive correlation betweenFLAPS measurements and live biological aerosolparticles.

biological aerosol measurement biological aerosol particles FLAPS 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Defence Research Establishemnt SuffieldMedicine HatCanada
  2. 2.TSI IncorporatedSt. PaulUSA

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