Sampling efficiencies of two modified viable cascade impactors

Jana Kesavan, Meera Kesavan, Ana M. Rule

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Prevention of airborne contagious diseases depends on successful characterization of aerosols in the environment. The use of cascade impactors to characterize ambient aerosols is one of the most commonly used methods, providing data on both particle size and concentration. In this study, the use of a cascade impactor recently described in the literature using 8 mL of liquid in Petri dishes (CI-L) was compared with a new method that uses wet membrane filters on top of wax filled Petri dishes (CI-WWMF). Sampling efficiencies of the cascade impactors were evaluated using 0.5, 1, 3, and 5 μm polystyrene latex (PSL) microspheres and aerosol consisting of single spores of Bacillus atrophaeus var. globigii (BG). The sampling efficiency of the CI-L was 6%, 11%, 17%, 21%, and 58% for 0.5, 1, 3, 5 μm PSL microspheres and BG spores, respectively. Higher overall sampling efficiencies of 71%, 91%, 60%, 64%, and 104% were observed for the same size and type of particles for the CI-WWMF. This study indicates that using wet filters on top of wax-filled Petri dishes (CI-WWMF) in a viable cascade impactor is more efficient than the CI-L method for size-selectively collecting biological aerosols from the environment. The CI-WWMF method is useful when a liquid medium is required for identifying and quantifying organisms using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immuno-assay techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1302
Number of pages7
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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