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Proceedings Paper

Detecting invisible bacillus spores on surfaces using a portable surface-enhanced Raman analyzer
Author(s): Stuart Farquharson; Frank Inscore; Jay F. Sperry
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Paper Abstract

Since the distribution of anthrax causing spores through the U.S. Postal System in the autumn of 2001, numerous methods have been developed to detect spores with the goal of minimizing casualties. During and following an attack it is also important to detect spores on surfaces, to assess extent of an attack, to quantify risk of infection by contact, as well as to evaluate post-attack clean-up. To perform useful measurements, analyzers and/or methods must be capable of detecting as few as 10 spores/cm2, in under 5-minutes, with little or no sample preparation or false-positive responses, using a portable device. In an effort to develop such a device, we have been investigating the ability of surfaceenhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to detect dipicolinic acid (DPA) as a chemical signature of bacilli spores. In 2003 we employed SERS to measure DPA extracted from a 10,000 spores per μL sample using hot dodecylamine. Although the entire measurement was performed in 2 minutes, the need to heat the dodecylamine limits field portability of the method. Here we describe the use of a room temperature digesting agent in combination with SERS to detect 220 spores collected from a surface in a 1 μL sample within 3 minutes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 2006
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6378, Chemical and Biological Sensors for Industrial and Environmental Monitoring II, 63780R (25 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682485
Show Author Affiliations
Stuart Farquharson, Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (United States)
Frank Inscore, Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (United States)
Jay F. Sperry, Univ. of Rhode Island (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6378:
Chemical and Biological Sensors for Industrial and Environmental Monitoring II
Steven D. Christesen; Arthur J. Sedlacek; James B. Gillespie; Kenneth J. Ewing, Editor(s)

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