Personal Air Sampler for Collecting Airborne Aerosol Particulates for Molecular Analysis

This invention consists of a sampling apparatus that utilizes one or more cyclone separators to collect airborne particles from the atmosphere. The apparatus not only separates out aerosols from the atmosphere, but also serves as a collection tube for aerosol particles. Through its unique design, this CDC-developed apparatus is able to use the centrifugal force of the air flow on aerosolized particles forcing them to separate. Since the sample is collected directly in a microcentrifuge tube, in situ analysis of the ambient particulates can be performed. Analysis may include, but is not limited to, PCR, immunoassay analysis, microscopic spore counting, and counting colony-forming units. The device should also have many additional uses for environmental surveillance and occupational health applications.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Analysis of ambient air particulates
  • Environmental surveillance
  • Occupational safety monitoring
  • Biodefense
  • Long-term exposure assessment
  • Rapid, on-site sampling and analysis.
  • Alternative to surface-sampling and culturing for aerosolized biological agents.
  • Superior extraction efficiency compared to filters, impingers, and impactors.
  • Real-world testing demonstrated device's ability to collect airborne mold and mycotoxins, pollen and pollen fragments, airborne dust particulates, as well as airborne influenza virus in a hospital environment.

Teh-Hsun Chen (CDC)
Gregory Feature (CDC)
Jyoti Keswani (CDC)
Herbert Edgell (CDC)

Intellectual Property:
PCT Application No. PCT/US2004/032378
US Application No. 60/512,252
US Application No. 10/575,048
US Application No. 12/152,156

Lindsley WG, et al. PMID 17075620
Blachere FM, et al. PMID 19453416
Lindsley WG, et al. PMID 21152051
Cao G, et al. PMID 21975583
CDC-NIOSH Cyclone Bioaerosol Sampler webpage
NIOSH Personal Bioaerosol Cyclone Sampler video YouTube

Licensing Contact:
Tara Kirby, Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
Phone: 301-435-4426

OTT Reference No: E-244-2013/0

Updated: Jan-29-2014