Electrostatic Sampler uses LAMBDA VIT-FIT Syringe Pump for concentrating biological aerosol particles. Experimental model: Bacillus thuringiensis spores.

VIT-FIT LAMBDA HP injection system for production of Bacillus thuringiensis spore aerosols in a new designed electrostatic sampler.

Human exposure to airborne biological agents is known to cause various illnesses, infections (bacterial, viral (eg. Coronavirus, Influenza virus, etc), and allergies; reason why the detection of airborne pathogens is becoming a subject of great concern in modern society. Several studies have shown that electrostatic samplers are suitable for collecting microorganisms and particles, as well as preserving their viability. Therefore, a group of researchers from the Centre for Biological Security, Robert Koch-Institute in Germany and Department of Microtechnology for Biology and Health, CEA Grenoble from France designed a new electrostatic sampler with the aim to evaluate its concentration capacity of different origin particles from aerosols. The new electrostatic sampler uses a VIT-FIT HP LAMBDA Syringe Pump on its design to evaluate specifically the concentration of biological particles about 0.8 µm considering Bacillus thuringiensis spores as experimental model.

VIT-FIT LAMBDA HP for aerosol production with Bacillus thuringiensis spores

Reference: Roux, J-M., Kaspari, O., Heinrich, R., Hanschmann, N., Grunow, R. 2013. Investigation of a New Electrostatic Sampler for Concentrating Biological and Non-Biological Aerosol Particles. Aerosol Science and Technology, 47:5 (2013), 463-471.

Electrostatic sampling is one of the most efficient ways to collect particles by electrically charging the aerosols and collecting them due to electrostatic forces. Interest in electrostatic methods is growing since it is a suitable method to collect microorganisms. Compared to collection by impaction methods, advantages of the electrostatic-sampling-based method are lower impaction stress, lower pressure drop and lower power consumption.

Pathogenic organisms are of great concern because they can be released with the purpose of causing significant public anxiety, sickness, and fatalities. Safeguarding a certain area, against biological agents, demands detection of pathogenic vegetative bacteria, bacterial spores and viruses (eg. Influenza (A, B, C, etc), Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, etc), among others) by sampling and analyzing aerosols within a few minutes, in order to trigger a timely alarm, preventing wider exposure of civilians to the danger.

The VIT-FIT HP LAMBDA Syringe Pump was used specifically because of its exclusive technical features such as: high pressure working range, precision mechanics for pulse-free operation, constant flow rate and Speed selection/syringe calibration. The device’s efficiency in collecting live biological samples was determined by sampling live bacterial spores. Particles of 0.3–0.35 µm were captured with an efficiency of about 86%, whereas cultivable spores of Bacillus thuringiensis were collected with about 94% efficiency. Results were similar to the literature; however, the advantages of the new design are higher flow rates, allowing the device use as an alarm trigger in a shorter period of time.

Main advantages and properties of the VIT-FIT (HP) syringe pump for electrostatic sampler devices.

Precision mechanics for pulse-free operation

  • The Swiss made motor used on VIT-FIT (HP) ensures very high torque and ten times longer lifetime.
  • A Swiss made ball screws with highest mechanical load capacity, allows the transformation of the movement (rotational into linear), offering a high efficiency and mechanical yield/force of the system. This is crucial for a pulsation-free operation
  • Therefore, LAMBDA VIT-FIT and VIT-FIT high pressure lab syringe pumps are suitable for high-pressure, high-speed & counter pressure applications and handling of liquids with higher viscosity in the laboratory.

Constant flow rate and Speed selection/syringe calibration

  • The flow rate can be kept constant during the pre-selected time/period.
  • Speed selection is set with numbers corresponding to the velocity of the rotation of the motor, in order to fit several types of syringes. During calibration, the motor speed setting (000 to 999) has to be put into relation with the delivered volume as a function of time (flow rate). The flow rates and delivered volumes at each speed setting can be then calculated.

Features of VIT-FIT (HP) Syringe pump from LAMBDA could be found at https://www.syringepump.info/ and https://www.lambda-instruments.com/syringe-pump/

Keywords: Electrostatic sampler, LAMBDA VIT-FIT HP syringe pump, Bt spores, Bacillus thuringiensis, aerosols, virus, bacterial pathogens, aerosol particles concentration, airborne pathogens