Development of air sampling technologies for airborne biologicals.
Air sampling for the monitoring of biological particles is of significant importance for both civil and military defence applications. The ability to offer continuous sampling for the detection of harmful airborne pathogens is particularly important in the field of environmental monitoring.
As a result the design and operation of air collection devices must be tailored to the demands of potentially challenging and remote locations.
At the University of Hertfordshire we have expertise in the design and operation of both cyclonic and filter based airborne particle collectors.
We are investigating the fluid mechanics of airborne collectors, including Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis of gas flow and the complex interaction between the gas flow regime and introduced analyte mechanisms (required for downstream biological detection).
Cyclonic collector designs developed by the University of Hertfordshire (Wetted Wall, Gas and Hydrocyclone) have no moving parts or physical filtration mechanisms, while screen filter collectors systems integrate state of the art ultrasonic particle removal, both system approaches incorporate microfluidic delivery systems.
Our investigations typically focus on the design and optimisation of airborne collectors for microfluidic applications, typically sampling high air flow rates, in excess of 500l/m of air, which can then be translated into microfluidic sample flow rates of less than 500µl/m.