Biological materials in airborne particles (PM) have diverse sources, formation processes, composition and sizes. Knowledge has advanced substantially in recent years with regards to PM physical properties (mass, number, size) and chemical composition (chemical speciation). However, less progress has been made in the characterisation of biological materials in PM and the interaction between its abiotic and biological components. This significantly limits understanding of the role and impact of PM in the context of public health (allergenicity, toxicity, infectivity), climate (absorbing/scattering light) and ecosystems (nutrient transport/ dispersal of reproductive units). The inherent barrier to progress has been the prevailing mono-disciplinary perspective and associated methodological constraints. Of the many methods developed to rapidly characterise airborne biological materials, single particle ultraviolet light- induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) detection systems combined with optical particle measurements (size and shape) have demonstrated their potential to detect and characterise airborne biological particles in real-time. This presentation will offer an overview of different sampling and analysis methods and capability requirements to advance detection and characterisation of biological materials in PM and offer a snapshot view of potential and challenges of UV-LIF based detection systems to advance physico-chemical and biological characterisation of airborne particles in different environments.
Dr Nasar’s research interest lies in the physico-chemical and biological characterisation of aerosols, their societal impacts and developing control measures, with a specific focus on particulate matter (PM) and bioaerosols, across natural and built environments. He has extensively investigated aerosol and bioaerosols dynamics across diverse indoor/outdoor environments, the relationship between indoor/outdoor air quality, air hygiene diagnostics and airborne disease control measures. Currently, he is leading Cranfield’s work on the single-particle characterisation of biological materials in PM from different environments by using Light-Induced Fluorescence based sensor systems capable of performing a range of measurements on single particles in real-time. He is Co-I and network manager for the BioAirNet (one of the six networks funded through the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund Clean Air Programme) and also a member of BSI committee EH/2/5 – Emissions to internal environments as an expert on bioaerosols.