Detection of airborne bacteria with disposable bio-precipitator and NanoGene assay

Eun Hee Lee, Beelee Chua, Ahjeong Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We demonstrated the detection of airborne bacteria by a disposable bio-precipitator and NanoGene assay combination. The bio-precipitator employed micro corona discharge at 1960 V and at less than 35 μA to simultaneously charge, capture and lyse the airborne bacteria. This was enabled by the use of a 15 μL liquid anode. Using a custom exposure setup, the target bacterium Bacillus subtilis in the atomization solution was rendered airborne. After exposure, the liquid anode in the bio-precipitator was subsequently measured for DNA concentration and analyzed with the NanoGene assay. As the bacterial concentration increased from 0.0104 to 42.6 g-DCW/L the released DNA concentration in the liquid anode increased from 2.10±1.57 to 75.00±7.15 ng/μL. More importantly, the NanoGene assay showed an increase in normalized fluorescence (gene quantification) from 18.03±1.18 to 49.71±1.82 as the bacterial concentrations increased from 0.0104 to 42.6 g-DCW/L. the electrical power consumption of the bio-precipitator was shown to be amenable for portable use. In addition, the detection limit of bio-precipitator and NanoGene assay combination in the context of environmentally relevant levels of airborne bacteria was also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Airborne bacteria
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Bio-precipitator
  • Micro corona discharge
  • NanoGene assay


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