Novel Electrostatics-based Sampler for Bioaerosol Collection in Small Analysis Volumes

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CFD Research Corp.
701 McMillian Way NW Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Current biodetection systems first collect airborne pathogens in a liquid, followed by detection While aerosol sampling technologies have been driven to protecting larger spaces, requiring large liquid collection volumes (several ml), state-of-the-art biosensors have been moving to ultra-low sensitivity needing only a very small fraction (few ml) of this collection volume. This mismatch leads to decreased assay sensitivity, increased probabilities of false alarms and increase in logistical burden. Addressing this issue, our overall objective is to design and demonstrate a novel electrostatics-based sampler that captures agent containing particles into order of magnitude smaller collection volumes that can then be processed directly by sensors. In Phase I, a novel electrostatics-based air-to-air aerosol concentrator was conceived, fabricated and demonstrated to be capable of concentrating particle over multiple orders of magnitude. Electrospray-based volumetric capture of focused particles was also demonstrated to hold great promise for highly efficient scrubbing of particles within the small volume constraints. During Phase II, these individual components will be further optimized and subsequently integrated along with COTS components to develop a sampler prototype. The sampler prototype will be challenged with both simulants and selected threat agents. Our unique development approach synergizing state-of-the-art simulation-based design with advanced prototyping and experimental testing, along with the experienced team assembled, minimizes technical risk and accelerates development cycles.