EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Fluorescent Characteristics of respiratory aerosol generated by a variety of speech and therapy activities.

Maxamillian Moss1, David Topping1, Jonathan Reid2, Joshua Harrison2, Justice Archer2, Alicja Szczepanska2, Bryan Bzdek2, Brian Saccente-Kennedy3, Ruth Epstein3, Declan Costello4, James Calder5, and Pallav Shah6
Maxamillian Moss et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 2School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 3Speech and Language Therapy Department, Royal National Ear Nose and Throat Hospital, London, UK
  • 4Ear, Nose and Throat Department, Wexham Park Hospital, UK
  • 5(1) Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, UK and (2) Fortius Clinic, Fitzhardinge St, London, UK
  • 6(1). Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK , (2). Department of Respiratory Medicine, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK (3) National Heart and Lung Institute, Guy Scadding Building, Imperial College London, Doveh

The importance of bio-aerosols across the earth system has been known for some time. With the unfortunate situation arising from the COVID19 pandemic, attention has turned to appropriate detection technologies that could be used to better understand the contribution of aerosols generated from the lung in various settings. In this project, the wideband Integrated Bioaerosol Sensor (WIBS-NEO) was deployed in a zero-background clinical environment which permitted the aerosols measured to be directly ascribed to specific vocalisations undertaken. The fluorescent signatures of expelled aerosol from a variety of human participants were captured during individual speech and language therapy activities (speaking, humming, sustained phonation, fricatives, projection, and tongue trills). In this presentation we present the varying fluorescent signatures and particle morphologies.

Furthermore, millions across the UK have now adopted face coverings into their day to day lives with one of the most widely adopted and commonplace being the disposable surgical face mask. Yet, questions still remain as to what types of vocalisations produce the most aerosols and the efficacy of the face mask in reducing transmission. To supplement this, measurements with the WIBS-NEO were conducted where participants did not wear a mask, and then subsequently repeated wearing a surgical mask. The fluorescent intensity, concentration (cm3), size (um), and asphericity were then compared for each activity with and without a mask.


WIBS-NEO information:

Example paper using the WIBS:

E.Toprak and M. Schnaiter, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2013, 13, 225–243.


How to cite: Moss, M., Topping, D., Reid, J., Harrison, J., Archer, J., Szczepanska, A., Bzdek, B., Saccente-Kennedy, B., Epstein, R., Costello, D., Calder, J., and Shah, P.: Fluorescent Characteristics of respiratory aerosol generated by a variety of speech and therapy activities., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10175,, 2022.