The need for a detailed understanding of the factors that determine the lifetime of aerosolized microorganisms is crucial to predict and mitigate disease dynamics in the general population. Although critical, the study of bioaerosol while suspended in air is challenging for several reasons: (1) the stable, reliable and gentle generation of a bioaerosol is key to producing consistent results (2) the bioaerosol must be suspended for prolonged periods of time in a stable and manipulatable environment, and (3) the bioaerosol must be readily removed from the gas phase and deposited onto a substrate for further analysis (e.g. test viability).
In this study, a next generation technology and methodology to reproducibly and gently generate bioaerosol, suspend it in a controlled environment for a prolonged period of time before gently extracting it onto a substrate is presented. How variables such as relative humidity (RH), gas phase ozone/oxidant concentration, light intensity, aerosol composition and temperature affect the longevity and infectivity of various aerosolized microorganisms are possible with this technique; this study is the first to demonstrate the utility of this technique and will focus on how RH and aerosol composition affect the longevity of various microorganisms.