LumAir FAQs

Sensor Operation

1. How much air does the LumAir sample?

Unlike other air samplers, which work using a pump to draw large quantifiable volumes of air for a short time, the LumAir draws periodic samples of air over a long period of time. These microbursts of air are used to recycle the air being analysed in the disposable cartridge. By continuously analysing these microbursts of air, you can monitor the general air condition of a room or area over a drastically extended period of time compared to traditional methods.


2. How often does the LumAir periodically draw a sample of air?

Every 5-15 minutes, depending on the needs of the facility.


3. Is there any incubation or analysis period?

The analysis is ongoing at room temperature while air sampling is performed, and there are no external incubation steps.


4. What happens if a pathogen is detected?

The LED display light system will change from green to red on the Lumair device to indicate a pathogen is detected. A full alert is sent via e-mail and available to view online on the user dashboard. The user will be alerted to change cartridge and will be given detailed information on the event. For the LumAir device itself, the flow of air is stopped and the cartridge door closes automatically. The slide tab is inserted. This ensures no spores or pathogenic species can escape into the local environment. The cartridge is removed with care as per instructions and disposed of to a biohazard waste bin.


5. How long does it take to receive an alert if contamination is present?

Once contamination is detected you will receive an alert immediately. Bacteria, moulds yeasts have different growth rates some are slow or fast growing. This is also dependent on the room temperature that the LumAir is active in. For example, some species of Aspergillus can initiate an alert in less than 24 hrs after a spore has made contact with the cartridge at normal room temperature. Where a room is colder for example at 17˚C this can take from 2 to 3 days for an alert to be initiated.


6. Does the LumAir make recommendations if a pathogen is detected?

No. A PDF report is provided with the e-mail alert (this is a similar format to traditional lab reports). This records the growth detected, the detection time and date and the environmental conditions at time of detection. The cartridge should be removed and disposed of with care to a biohazardous waste bin as per the instruction manual.


7. Do you use different testing methods to a laboratory?

The LumAir system combines fundamental laboratory practices and methodology of detection, with specifically engineered optical measurement technology to allow for remote and rapid monitoring. The LumAir is a detection system, it is not a formal identification device.


8. Can you provide a pathogenic density level (CFU count in air)?

The LU45 does not provide pathogenic density levels, it is an airborne pathogen detection alert system.


9. What is the facilitation media?

A customised agar vessel in the cartridge houses the growth facilitation media – the type is cartridge dependent (See Cartridge section)


10. Do we have a calibration test?

Each sensor has a robust auto-calibration procedure that occurs with every newly loaded cartridge.

Installation


1. What is the coverage / detection area for each sensor?

There is not a strict recommendation on how many sensors are required per area – instead, it is recommended that an assessment of the controlled environment should be carried out before installation. An area where processes are taking place and potential microbiological hazards may be expected to occur are the best locations. You can compare this type of assessment to what is recommended for settle plate testing. The advantage with the LumAir pathogen detection system is that continuous monitoring is in place compared to periodic testing.


2. Where should the detector be installed?

The sensor is ideally located near areas which are where airflows converge or are turbulent. The height of the senor should be approximately 1.5m from the floor or whatever height is convenient for loading or unloading cartridges.


3. How many units can be connected to the wireless hub / base station?

25 sensors can report back to one base station. However, consideration must be given to walls and other physical obstructions which can limit wireless transmission. A pre-installation survey should be carried out for each new facility, and wireless repeaters or additional hubs can be installed if necessary.


4. What is the wireless rane of the sensors?

The wireless range of the sensors from the Ethernet base station is approx. 30m / 100 ft. Again it is dependent on the building and how many sensors are linked to the hub. Additional sensors extend the range of the system by using a wireless mesh network without requiring additional hubs.


5. Are you BMS compatible?

This is possible on request and may require additional equipment depending on your BMS system.

Cartridge System


1. Is it possible to detect additional pathogens beyond those listed on your website?

Yes – the LumAir is optimised to detect bacteria, yeasts and moulds. If there is a customer demand for a specific pathogen, compatibility testing can be carried out to assess the efficacy of the LumAir unit for detecting this pathogen. Certain pathogens require very particular environmental conditions to develop and it may not be compatible, so each pathogen is investigated on a case by case basis.


2. Is the cartridge safe or is there a risk of it becoming an additional source of contamination after detection?

Once a detection alert is sent at the first signs of pathogen growth, the air flow through the cartridge is locked down via an automatic system. The tab sticker may be removed and the tab inserted before removing the cartridge from the LumAir reader. Sporing of a pathogen often occurs later in the growth phase, so by locking down the cartridge early we remove any chance of the cartridge becoming a contamination source.


3. Can one unit house different cartridges?

One sensor can host only one cartridge per monitoring cycle. However, every LU45 unit can be used with the full range of cartridges available.


4. How do you target one type of pathogen?

The cartridges use selective agar. This selective agar has optimal nutrition for the target organism, and may be modified to prevent growth of other bacteria. For example the Aspergillus cartridge detects aflatoxin producing Aspergillus species and other moulds. It prevents the growth bacteria with the use of an antibiotic.


5. Could an Aspergillus cartridge detect other microbes?

Essentially yes. The agar may attract the growth of other fungi but has been modified to block the growth of most bacteria as it contains an antibiotic.


6. How long do cartridges last once loaded in the sensor?

Under optimum conditions each cartridge will last 2-3 weeks. The reason for the range of lifetime is that some cartridges contain more sensitive or complex combinations of media, and will have differing activity levels over time. Environmental effects may also play a role, but to a much lesser effect as the cartridge can self-isolate between air sampling.


7. What is the operational temperature for cartridges to work?

Each cartridge will be accompanied by a ‘standard operating environment’ checklist. Installation in environments outside of this specification will likely affect the units’ ability to operate at full efficiency.


8. Will dust affect my LumAir?

The detection software algorithms monitor for erratic behaviour which might be caused by non-pathogenic particles, such as dust, and compensates appropriately.


9. How do I store my cartridges?

The cartridges are sterile and sealed but refrigeration is recommended and will serve to increase the cartridge storage lifetime.


10. Can I throw my cartridges in the bin once used?

Unused cartridges may be disposed of in general waste bins. Used cartridges should be disposed of as biohazardous waste to ensure safety. Biohazardous waste disposal facilities should be available to institutions/ companies planning to use the LumAir system.


11. Do I need specialist training to manage installation & disposal of cartridges?

No specialist training is required. Each cartridge comes with full instructions on how to load and dispose of cartridges safely, and can be performed by any member of staff.


12. Have you considered a filter of some sort to prevent particulates from entering the cartridge and contaminating the media?

At present filters hinder the movement of air into the cartridge, as the fans in use do not possess the required force to compensate for the introduction of a filter. It is therefore not encouraged for users to try installing filters of any kind.