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Bubbling device for air sampling

bubbler.environmental matricesimmunomagnetic beadsLegionella pneumophila


The present patent refers to a bubbling device for sampling environmental matrices such as air and aerosols. In particular, the device has technical characteristics that allow sampling of complex matrices, such as air, much more effective than that obtainable with devices of the same type.

Technical features

Current technologies make it possible to detect the presence of L. penumophila in environmental matrices through sampling of the matrix and selective and differential culture analysis. The patented device allows to eliminate the contaminants present in the environmental matrices, since it uses beads coated with monoclonal antibodies specific for the target, so they capture only in microorganism of interest. At low concentrations of the microorganism the recovery from the matrix is> 95%, while at high concentrations (106-108) the recovery efficiency decreases because the immunomagnetic beads become saturated, so they recover about 60% of what is present.

The patented bubbling system allows large volumes of air to be concentrated in small amounts of suspension. This effect is obtained by the presence of a suspension of immuno-magnetic beads (BIM) coated with anti Legionella monoclonal antibodies, which selectively capture the micro organisms of interest present in the air. The system consists of a disposable test tube containing the suspension of the BIMs, inside which the bubbling system is placed. The test tube is connected to a sampler, which allows the air sample to be aspirated. The bubbler is connected through a trap placed between the bubbler itself and the sampler, in order to avoid a loss of the sampling liquid and at the same time preserve the sampler from possible contamination. The combined use of the device and highly selective BIMs allows to significantly reduce post sampling analysis times.

Possible Applications

  • Bioaerosol sampling;
  • Rapid monitoring of air treatment systems;
  • Selective capture in environmental matrices;
  • Study of the different microbial components (bacteria, molds, spores) of the bioaerosol.


  • Limited sample leakage in the suction system tubes;
  • Greater efficiency in long samplings;
  • Selective capture of Legionella spp.;
  • Significant reduction in post sampling analysis time at around 3 4 hours;
  • Use of different antibodies for specific microorganisms in the air.