Personal Air Sampler for Collecting Airborne Aerosol Particulates for Molecular Analysis by Size

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 by size. 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.

Development Stage:
  • In situ data available (on-site)
  • Prototype


Jyoti Keswani (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Herbert Edgell (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Teh-Hsun Chen (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
PCT Pat: 7,370,543 issued 2008-05-13
US Pat: 8,205,511 issued 2012-06-26
US Application No. 10/575,048 filed on 2006-04-04
US Application No. 12/152,156 filed on 2008-05-12

Chen BT, et al. DOI 10.1080/027868290511218
Macher JM, et al. PMID 18720289
Macher JM, et al. PMID 18780236
Su WC, et al. PMID 22833144
Wang CH, et al. PMID 25799419
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:
Karen Surabian, J.D., M.B.A.
Phone: 301-594-9719

OTT Reference No: E-244-2013-0
Updated: May 25, 2016