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  Principle of Operation

When air and suspended particles pass through a highly charged electrical field, molecules become ionized (electrostatically charged), and they are forcibly attracted to the opposite charge (ground).  In this case, the collection plate (SEM stub) is connected to ground, and spores and other particulate matter are drawn to the stub.  This allows high volumes of air to be processed because the trap does not depend upon simple impact onto an adhesive surface to collect particulate matter.  This principle also accounts for the very high capture efficiency of the Ionic Spore Trap.  The stub can be viewed directly with a scanning electron microscope (SEM), or transparent tape can be affixed to the stub for viewing with a light microscope.  In addition, a membrane can be secured to the stub, and it can be analyzed by RT-PCR.  The membrane can also be moistened and incubated, and spore germination can be assessed.

                                      click to see how it work
The Investigator Solo and Multi Sampler models can be programmed with a menu-driven interface installed on a computer. A screen shot of the user interface is shown below. Such variables as start times and days as well as duration of operation are controlled by the user.  In addition, the device records and logs temperature and relative humidity, which can be downloaded periodically.  The device draws very little current, and it can operate indefinitely from a 12 volt battery attached to a solar charger. 

                     Above: The Ionic Sporetrap's PC Software