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Automated Colony Counters Help Monitor Air Quality

Synbiosis have announced that its ProtoCOL and åCOLyte automated colony counters are being used to count the number of air borne mould and fungal contaminants in buildings in Canada, the United States and Sweden. This is helping to ensure houses in these countries are healthier to live in because the air inside is less likely to aggravate respiratory conditions, such as asthma.

The ProtoCOL system with its built-in camera, integrated to a PC and powerful image analysis software is being used to visualise and count mould or fungi as small as 0.1mm diameter, on a range of specialist contact plates. Additionally, it is being utilised to simultaneously differentiate, display and enumerate many different coloured air borne organisms all cultured on the same contact plate.

The entry-level åCOLyte system with Click'n'Count or SuperCount versions is also being used to count fungi and mould from air. With Click'n'Count, microbiologists point at each mould on the plate image and click on it to count. For increased throughput, the åCOLyte with SuperCount will at the touch of a button count more than 500 fungi or mould colonies a second. The results are automatically transferred to PC and stored in a report, thus eliminating keying steps and any associated errors.

For images of raised colonies, ProtoCOL can also be linked to Syncroscopy's Auto-Montage software to automatically create in-focus images of the fungi and mould samples. This could help with identifying particular contaminants and provide information on decontamination.

Simon Johns, Divisional Manager for Synbiosis said: "In Canada, the USA and Sweden, new houses have to have a certificate stating that air quality is at the required standard, before a mortgage is issued. Therefore, being able to perform counts quickly and accurately means contracts can be signed or a thorough decontamination can take place sooner, so that owners can confidently take possession of houses with clean, safe air."

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Source : Synbiosis View Company Information

Posted on January 12, 2005