15 April 2008 A true real-time, on-line security system for waterborne pathogen surveillance
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Over the past several years many advances have been made to monitor potable water systems for toxic threats. However, the need for real-time, on-line systems to detect the malicious introduction of deadly pathogens still exists. Municipal water distribution systems, government facilities and buildings, and high profile public events remain vulnerable to terrorist-related biological contamination. After years of research and development, an instrument using multi-angle light scattering (MALS) technology has been introduced to achieve on-line, real-time detection and classification of a waterborne pathogen event. The MALS system utilizes a continuous slip stream of water passing through a flow cell in the instrument. A laser beam, focused perpendicular to the water flow, strikes particles as they pass through the beam generating unique light scattering patterns that are captured by photodetectors. Microorganisms produce patterns termed 'bio-optical signatures' which are comparable to fingerprints. By comparing these bio-optical signatures to an on-board database of microorganism patterns, detection and classification occurs within minutes. If a pattern is not recognized, it is classified as an 'unknown' and the unidentified contaminant is registered as a potential threat. In either case, if the contaminant exceeds a customer's threshold, the system will immediately alert personnel to the contamination event while extracting a sample for confirmation. The system, BioSentryTM, developed by JMAR Technologies is now field-tested and commercially available. BioSentry is cost effective, uses no reagents, operates remotely, and can be used for continuous microbial surveillance in many water treatment environments. Examples of HLS installations will be presented along with data from the US EPA NHSRC Testing and Evaluation Facility.
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John A. Adams and David L. McCarty "A true real-time, on-line security system for waterborne pathogen surveillance", Proc. SPIE 6945, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security IV, 69451K (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.777080; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.777080

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