New aerosol shape analyser from BIRAL

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



(2000), "New aerosol shape analyser from BIRAL", Sensor Review, Vol. 20 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

New aerosol shape analyser from BIRAL

New aerosol shape analyser from BIRAL

Bristol Industrial and Research Associates Ltd, (BIRAL) have launched a completely new type of aerosol measurement system. This new instrument, called ASPECT, measures the shape as well as the size of airborne particles without the time-consuming and subjective procedures associated with traditional off-line microscopy (see Plate 4).

Plate 4New aerosol shape analyser from Bristol Industrial & Research Associates Ltd (BIRAL)

ASPECT measures the amount of light scattered in various directions from particles passing through a laser beam. Particles with perfect symmetry will scatter different amounts of light to all the detectors. As well as measuring the degree of asymmetry possessed by airborne particles, ASPECT also measures the size of the particles and reports size and shape distributions using state-of-the-art software which yields real-time displays capable of tracking changes in particle morphology in real systems.

The importance of particle size and shape (morphology) has been recognised for a long time in a wide variety of fields. These include the study of the toxicology of particles such as asbestos and man-made mineral fibres where the shape of insoluble particles has a considerable influence on the type of severity of diseases caused by the particles. With the ASPECT system, Occupational Hygienists will be able to identify the presence of particles with specific shapes such as fibres. Process engineers will be able to track the effect of changes in process conditions on particle shape and pharmaceutical companies can better study the effect of particle shape on the pharmacological activity of candidate drugs and therapies.

For more information of ASPECT, contact BIRAL at PO Box 2, Portishead, Bristol BS20 7JB, UK. Tel: + 44 (0) 1275-847787; Fax: + 44 (0) 1275-847303; E-mail:;

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