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Potentiometric Detection of Model Bioaerosol Particles

Sarantaridis, D; Caruana, DJ; (2010) Potentiometric Detection of Model Bioaerosol Particles. ANAL CHEM , 82 (18) 7660 - 7667. 10.1021/ac1014518.

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A new technique for the detection of bioaresols is presented, utilizing particle combustion/ionization in a pre-mixed hydrogen/oxygen/nitrogen flame plasma, followed by gas phase electrochemical detection. Bermuda grass pollen (Cynodon dactylon, one of the most common causes of pollen allergy) and black walnut pollen (Juglans nigra) were used as model bioaerosol particles. We demonstrate that single particle detection can be comfortably achieved by zero current potential measurements between two platinum electrodes, giving potential signals of over 800 mV and unique fragmentation features which may be used for differentiating between species. The high sensitivity is due to the inherent amplification through flame fragmentation, gasification and ionization; a single pollen grain of 25 pm diameter can give a plume of combustion products measuring 4 mm in diameter. The physical basis of the potential difference is a mixed interfacial potential with an additive diffusion/junction potential due to the increase in ionization from the pollen combustion. The results suggest this methodology may be applied to the detection of particulates composed of ionizable species (organic or inorganic) in gaseous environments, such as bacteria, viruses, pollen grains, and dust. Its effectiveness will depend on the propensity of the target particle to combust and generate voltages under specific flame and electrode conditions.

Type: Article
Title: Potentiometric Detection of Model Bioaerosol Particles
DOI: 10.1021/ac1014518
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/143712
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