Biaera’s exposure system for infectious agents integrates the AeroMP control platform with an exposure chamber. The 38 Liter chamber was originally developed for aerosol exposures of mice [Stephenson, et. al., 1988], and has long been used for exposures with a variety of infectious agents in a variety of conditions.
[Jeddeloh, et. al., (2003); Roy, et. al., (2003); Heine, et. al., (2007); Roy, et. al., (2009); Gustin, et. al., (2011)].
The chamber operates in a “push-pull” modality, meaning that aerosol is constantly being supplied to and exhausted from the chamber. This dynamic exposure method ensures that the infectivity of the infectious agent is not compromised by an extended residence time in the chamber. This chamber operates at a recommended flow rate of 19 LPM resulting in an aerosol residence time in the chamber of two minutes. All of the flow rates to and from the chamber are managed by the AeroMP control platform. Animals or materials are held in perforated cages during the aerosol exposure. Perforated cages are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Plants, equipment and other materials can also be placed in the chamber without cages.
The chamber is outfitted with probes to monitor the chamber pressure, relative humidity, and temperature through the AeroMP control system. The AeroMP uses the pressure measurement to ensure that the ambient pressure condition in the chamber does not increase or decrease and pose a hazard to animals or other exposed materials. The humidity measurement combines with the AeroMP humidification system to maintain a stable, user-defined relative humidity. Deviations in relative humidity can adversely affect the infectivity of agents in aerosols. This control feedback ensures consistency within and across studies for a given agent.
The temperature measurement combines with a user-defined temperature range in the AeroMP software to provide assurance that animals or other materials are not experiencing unsuitable conditions during the exposure process.
Aerosols are generated with a three-jet collision nebulizer. The collision has been the primary aerosol generation device in the infectious aerosol research community [Stephenson, et. al., (1988); Jeddeloh, et. al., (2003); Roy, et. al., (2003); Hartings and Roy, (2004); Heine, et. al., (2007); Roy, et. al., (2009), Nalca, et. al. (201 O); Gustin, et. al., (2011)]. It combines ease-of-use, durability, and reliability in high containment aerosols with a consistent record of producing bioaerosols without adversely affecting the infectivity of biologics. Control, monitoring, and recording of the collision operation are all managed through the AeroMP control platform.
Aerosol sampling is accomplished with a 6 LPM all-glass impinger. The all-glass impinger also has an established history in infectious disease research with a variety of agents [Stephenson, et. al., 1988; Jeddeloh, et. al., (2003); Roy, et. al., (2003); Hartings and Roy, (2004); Heine, et. al., (2007); Roy, et. al., (2009), Nalca, et. al. (2010)]. The impinger collects a sample of the aerosol during the exposure. Subsequent analysis and enumeration of the sample provides confirmation of aerosol characteristics and provides the basis for calculating the inhaled dose to animals or exposure concentration to other materials. While impingers of various flow rates are available, the 6 LPM impinger is sufficient to achieve a high sampling efficiency while not disrupting the flow dynamics in the whole body chamber. Control, monitoring, and recording of the impinger functions are all achieved through the AeroMP control platform.
This particular implementation of the AeroMP is just one illustration of the capabilities of this system. Similar configurations can be assembled with virtually any existing chamber, an aerosol generator, monitor, or sampling device. Contact Biaera Technologies to discuss options for your laboratory.