8 March 2004 Differentiating bacterial spores from hoax materials by Raman spectroscopy
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Proceedings Volume 5269, Chemical and Biological Point Sensors for Homeland Defense; (2004) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.510629
Event: Optical Technologies for Industrial, Environmental, and Biological Sensing, 2003, Providence, RI, United States
The bioterrorism of October 2001 caused by the distribution of anthrax through the U.S. postal system was compounded by the significant delay associated with positive identification of the Bacillus anthracis spores and the unknown extent of their distribution along the eastern seaboard. In the ensuing two years, literally thousands of hoaxes, letters containing harmless powders, have been mailed creating additional anxiety. Thus, there is a need for instruments and/or methods that can not only identify anthrax-causing spores to save lives, but also identify hoax materials to eliminate costly shutdowns. Here we present Raman spectra of Bacillus cereus spores, an anthrax surrogate, as well as of 30 common substances that might be used as hoax materials. We also examine the choice of laser excitation, 785 nm or 1064 nm, and its impact on the ability to measure visible particles in 5 minutes or less, and to provide a complete answer to the question of suspicious material identity.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stuart Farquharson and Wayne W. Smith "Differentiating bacterial spores from hoax materials by Raman spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 5269, Chemical and Biological Point Sensors for Homeland Defense, (8 March 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.510629; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.510629

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