Rapid-E+ for real-time detection of airborne microplastics

Microplastics are ubiquitous in the environment and are potential threats to the health of wild animals and human beings. One recent study even found microplastics in remote Antarctic snow samples [1]. These microplastics could be transported by air from 6,000 km far away or emitted by research stations nearby.

Rapid-E+ has the potential to analyze these airborne microplastics based on laser-induced fluorescence. Microplastics composed of commonly used polymers (e.g., polyvinyl chloride and polystyrene) and additives (e.g., diethylhexyl phthalate and bisphenol A) emit fluorescence under UV excitation. Due to Rapid-E+ specificity, it can distinguish airborne microplastics from other organic materials, and bioaerosols. In addition, Rapid-E+ enables automatic measurement of the size, morphology, and number concentration of airborne microplastics continuously and in real-time.

Rapid-E+, integrated with machine learning, have been successfully applied in bioaerosol research. We are looking forward to the application of Rapid-E+ in microplastics/nanoplastics research as well, which would benefit both the environment and human health.

References: [1] Aves, A.R., Revell, L.E., Gaw, S., Ruffell, H., Schuddeboom, A., Wotherspoon, N.E., LaRue, M. and McDonald, A.J., 2022. First evidence of microplastics in Antarctic snow. The Cryosphere, 16(6), pp.2127-2145

For more information about the instrument, please visit Rapid-E+

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