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A Novel Hydrogel-Based Biosampling Approach

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2012,31 Aug 2014

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Director, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Aberdeen Proving Ground

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Available surface sampling approaches e.g., swabs, biological sampling kits, and wipes, especially from porous surfaces, are generally ineffective. Hydrogel is a water-based gel, which is applied as a thick viscous material on contaminated surfaces and allowed to dry into a thin film within a few hours, depending on ambient conditions. The dried film is then peeled off the surface. During the drying process, the gel encapsulates the bioagent and other contaminants. In this study, biohydrogel was used to examine the sampling efficiency and preservation of materials taken from contaminated surfaces. The biohydrogel proved to be a superior sampling tool recovery efficiency from 3D objects e.g., screws and pinewood coupons was 80 greater than that of existing sampling devices for the recovery of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores. Biohydrogel proved to be as good a sampling tool for painted steel, polycarbonate, pinewood, and screws as available sampling techniques. Because the biohydrogel recovered 1 of Staphylococcus aureus cells from painted steel, polycarbonate, pinewood, and screws, some components of the biohydrogel were concluded to be bactericidal. Spores of B. anthracis Sterne strain were well preserved at 4 C for over5 weeks. Over 5 logs of such spores lost their viability within 2 weeks at 25 and 37 C, indicating non-optimal preservation at such temperatures.

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