Exploring the feasibility of aerosol and bio-aerosol studies by the ChAMBRe atmospheric simulation chamber.
Brotto P., Gatta E., Massabò D., Parodi F., Prati P.
ChAMBRe (Chamber for Aerosol Modelling and Bio-aerosol Research) is a stainless-steel atmospheric simulation chamber (approximately 2.3 m3), installed at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Genoa, and developed in collaboration with the Laboratory for Environmental Physics of the University of Genoa, Department of Physics. ChAMBRe is a node of the European network of atmospheric simulation chambers and partner of the EUROCHAMP-2020 project, funded by UE for the period December 2016--November 2020. ChAMBRe has been specifically developed to study the bacterial composition and the behaviour of micro-organisms in the atmosphere. In the frame of the EUROCHAMP2020 work packages we are working on a protocol to run bioaerosol experiments in the controlled but realistic environment of atmospheric simulation-chambers. Here, we present the experimental setup to inject, analyse and extract bacteria, in particular $Bacillus$ subtilis$, in the chamber, in view of sensitivity studies to atmospheric parameters and composition inside the chamber. So far, we evaluated micro-organisms viability by $in vitro$ culture techniques (isolation, identification, growth) on aerosols, collected on filters and on Petri dishes. In addition, we performed size-segregated analyses of viable micro-organisms using a specific bio-aerosol sampler (8-stages Andersen-type cascade impactor). This work has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through the EUROCHAMP-2020 Infrastructure Activity under grant agreement No. 730997.