The development of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for the detection of biological warfare agent aerosols

Peter F. Scholl, Marisa A. Leonardo, Ana M. Rule, Micah A. Carlson, Miquel D. Antoine, Timothy J. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The best defensive measures against a biological weapons attack are to determine the agent(s) used and rapidly identify the exposed populations. However, technologies to accomplish these goals are only in their infancy. Through Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency sponsorship, the APL Tiny Time-of-Flight (TOF) Mass Spectrometer Program is attempting to close this window of vulnerability by developing a miniature, field-portable, and automated system for the rapid point detection of biological warfare agent aerosols. This article compares chemical and biological weapons properties to describe why matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) is an attractive tool for a biological weapons detection system. Experimental MALDI-TOF-MS spectra acquired from bacterial spore aerosol particles are presented to illustrate the approaches used in developing this system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
JournalJohns Hopkins APL Technical Digest (Applied Physics Laboratory)
Volume20
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

Keywords

  • Bioaerosols
  • Biological warfare agent detection
  • MALDI-TOF-MS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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