Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 7, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Bioaerosol detection using potentiometric tomography in flames

Author affiliations


A method of detection and identification of bioaerosols is described, based on gaseous plasma electrochemistry in a flame. This approach involves the combustion of individual bioaerosol particles entering a laminar hydrogen/oxygen flame, producing a plume rich in ionised species. As the plume expands and moves through the flame it can be comfortably detected at an array of eight individually addressable electrodes. Zero current potentiometric measurements, simultaneously recorded at each electrode, provide spatial distribution of the combustion plume, which depends on the particle's size, density and chemical make-up. We used a statistical classification analysis extracting specific features of the voltage traces from individual particle combustion events to differentiate between four model bioaerosols (Bermuda grass pollen, Bermuda smut spores, Johnson smut spores and Black walnut pollen). From a set of 120 individual combustion events (30 for each bioaerosol) the best case of identification was correct 29 out of 30 events for Bermuda grass pollen, and the worst being 19 out of 30 for Johnson smut spores. We propose a promising and robust analytical methodology for real-time bioaerosol detection.

Graphical abstract: Bioaerosol detection using potentiometric tomography in flames

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 10 Mar 2012, accepted on 27 Mar 2012 and first published on 13 Apr 2012

Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2SC20304A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2012,3, 2210-2216
  •   Request permissions

    Bioaerosol detection using potentiometric tomography in flames

    D. Sarantaridis, C. Hennig and D. J. Caruana, Chem. Sci., 2012, 3, 2210
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SC20304A

Search articles by author