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Title: Detection of biological particles in ambient air using Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry

Abstract

The Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (BAMS) system is an instrument used for the real time detection and identification of biological aerosols. Particles are drawn from the atmosphere directly into vacuum and tracked as they scatter light from several continuous wave lasers. After tracking, the fluorescence of individual particles is excited by a pulsed 266nm or 355nm laser. Molecules from those particles with appropriate fluorescence properties are subsequently desorbed and ionized using a pulsed 266nm laser. Resulting ions are analyzed in a dual polarity mass spectrometer. During two field deployments at the San Francisco International Airport, millions of ambient particles were analyzed and a small but significant fraction were found to have fluorescent properties similar to Bacillus spores and vegetative cells. Further separation of non-biological background particles from potential biological particles was accomplished using laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. This has been shown to enable some level of species differentiation in specific cases, but the creation and observation of higher mass ions is needed to enable a higher level of specificity across more species. A soft ionization technique, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) is being investigated for this purpose. MALDI is particularly well suited for mass analysis of biomolecules since it allows for themore » generation of molecular ions from large mass compounds that would fragment under normal irradiation. Some of the initial results from a modified BAMS system utilizing this technique are described.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
891060
Report Number(s):
UCRL-CONF-220443
TRN: US0604906
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at: SPIE Defense&Security Symposium, Kissimmee, FL, United States, Apr 17 - Apr 21, 2006
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; AEROSOLS; AIR; BACILLUS; DETECTION; FLUORESCENCE; IONIZATION; IRRADIATION; LASERS; MASS SPECTROMETERS; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; MOLECULAR IONS; SECURITY; SPECIFICITY; SPORES

Citation Formats

McJimpsey, E L, Steele, P T, Coffee, K R, Fergenson, D P, Riot, V J, Woods, B W, Gard, E E, Frank, M, Tobias, H J, and Lebrilla, C. Detection of biological particles in ambient air using Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
McJimpsey, E L, Steele, P T, Coffee, K R, Fergenson, D P, Riot, V J, Woods, B W, Gard, E E, Frank, M, Tobias, H J, & Lebrilla, C. Detection of biological particles in ambient air using Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry. United States.
McJimpsey, E L, Steele, P T, Coffee, K R, Fergenson, D P, Riot, V J, Woods, B W, Gard, E E, Frank, M, Tobias, H J, and Lebrilla, C. Thu . "Detection of biological particles in ambient air using Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/891060.
@article{osti_891060,
title = {Detection of biological particles in ambient air using Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry},
author = {McJimpsey, E L and Steele, P T and Coffee, K R and Fergenson, D P and Riot, V J and Woods, B W and Gard, E E and Frank, M and Tobias, H J and Lebrilla, C},
abstractNote = {The Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (BAMS) system is an instrument used for the real time detection and identification of biological aerosols. Particles are drawn from the atmosphere directly into vacuum and tracked as they scatter light from several continuous wave lasers. After tracking, the fluorescence of individual particles is excited by a pulsed 266nm or 355nm laser. Molecules from those particles with appropriate fluorescence properties are subsequently desorbed and ionized using a pulsed 266nm laser. Resulting ions are analyzed in a dual polarity mass spectrometer. During two field deployments at the San Francisco International Airport, millions of ambient particles were analyzed and a small but significant fraction were found to have fluorescent properties similar to Bacillus spores and vegetative cells. Further separation of non-biological background particles from potential biological particles was accomplished using laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry. This has been shown to enable some level of species differentiation in specific cases, but the creation and observation of higher mass ions is needed to enable a higher level of specificity across more species. A soft ionization technique, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) is being investigated for this purpose. MALDI is particularly well suited for mass analysis of biomolecules since it allows for the generation of molecular ions from large mass compounds that would fragment under normal irradiation. Some of the initial results from a modified BAMS system utilizing this technique are described.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 16 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Thu Mar 16 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Conference:
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  • The introduction of real-time particle mass spectrometry(RTSPMS) techniques creates a powerful tool for the study of particulate pollution on the single particle level. One such technique, aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ATOFMS) provides the aerodynamic size and chemical composition of individual particles. By combining data on size and composition, identification of individual particle classes in ambient outdoor samples is possible. Chemical composition is obtained by performing laser desorption ionization of individual particles using a Nd:YAG laser with a wavelength of 266 nm. The power of RTSPMS techniques is due to the ability to analyze the chemical composition of a single particle.more » The application of these techniques to analysis of ambient data has been limited however, because few studies have been performed to assess the ability of RTSPMS techniques to detect a wide range of compounds present in the atmosphere on a quantitative rather than qualitative level. It is known that various elemental species will respond differently to laser desorption mass spectrometric detection due to characteristic absorption cross-section and ionization potentials. In order to determine the capability and biases of RTSPMS techniques for detection of elemental species, a series of in-laboratory and ambient experiments has been performed using controlled conditions. Particles of known concentration have been produced from solution using an aerosol generator and analyzed using ATOFMS to determine responses of individual elements on a single particle level. In addition, side-by-side analyses with traditional sampling methods such as MOUDI impactors provide data to show how ATOFMS measurements correlate with federal reference methods.« less
  • Particulate pollution is an area of growing concern in light of recent studies which suggest a link between high concentrations of ambient PM{sub 10} (particles with diameters equal to or less than 10 {mu}m) and adverse health effects ranging from respiratory ailments to premature death. However, analytical chemistry techniques aimed at sampling and analysis of atmospheric aerosols are extremely limited in comparison to the number of methods that exist for studying gas phase smog components. As a result, current government regulations for levels of ambient particulates are necessarily general, lacking any chemical specificity. The authors have recently developed a technique,more » Aerosol-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (ATOFMS), which is capable of real-time determination of the size and chemical composition of individual aerosol particles. In order to obtain such information, the techniques of aerodynamic particle sizing and time-of-flight spectrometry are combined in a single instrument. In one of the aerosol studies performed in this laboratory, this instrument is being used for the direct analysis of ambient aerosols with the goal of establishing correlations between particle size and chemical composition. To date, the authors have observed very distinct size/composition correlations for organic and inorganic particles.« less
  • We have recently developed a technique, Aerosol-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (ATOFMS), which is capable of real-time determination of the aerodynamic size and chemical composition of individual aerosol particles. In order to obtain such information, the techniques of aerodynamic particle sizing and time-of-flight mass spectrometry are combined in a single instrument. ATOFMS is being used for the direct analysis of ambient aerosols with the goal of establishing correlations between particle size and chemical composition. Currently, measurements are being made to establish potential links between the presence of particular types of particles with such factors as the time of day, weather conditions, andmore » concentration levels of gaseous smog components such as NO{sub x} and ozone. This data will be used to help establish a better understanding of tropospheric gas-aerosol processes. This talk will discuss the operating principles of ATOFMS as well as present the results of ambient analysis studies performed in our laboratory.« less
  • I recently spent a summer as an intern at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I worked on a project involving the real-time, reagentless, single cell detection of aerosolized pathogens using a novel mass spectrometry approach called Bio-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (BAMS). Based upon preliminary results showing the differentiation capabilities of BAMS, I would like to explore the development and use of this novel detection system in the context of both environmental and clinical sample pathogen detection. I would also like to explore the broader public health applications that a system such as BAMS might have in terms of infectious disease preventionmore » and control. In order to appreciate the potential of this instrument, I will demonstrate the need for better pathogen detection methods, and outline the instrumentation, data analysis and preliminary results that lead me toward a desire to explore this technology further. I will also discuss potential experiments for the future along with possible problems that may be encountered along the way.« less