Chamber catalogues of optical and fluorescent signatures distinguish bioaerosol classes
Abstract. Rapid bioaerosol characterization has immediate applications in the military, environmental and public health sectors. Recent technological advances have facilitated single-particle detection of fluorescent aerosol in near real time; this leverages controlled ultraviolet exposures with single or multiple wavelengths, followed by the characterization of associated fluorescence. This type of ultraviolet induced fluorescence has been used to detect airborne microorganisms and their fragments in laboratory studies, and it has been extended to field studies that implicate bioaerosol to compose a substantial fraction of supermicron atmospheric particles. To enhance the information yield that new-generation fluorescence instruments can provide, we report the compilation of a referential aerobiological catalogue including more than 50 pure cultures of common airborne bacteria, fungi and pollens, recovered at water activity equilibrium in a mesoscale chamber (1 m3). This catalogue juxtaposes intrinsic optical properties and select bandwidths of fluorescence emissions, which manifest to clearly distinguish between major classes of airborne microbes and pollens.