Studies of DPA Fluorescence Enhancement.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The processes involved in the enhancement of the fluorescence profile of dipicolinic acid (DPA) were measured and analysed, with particular emphasis on their potential application to the rapid identification of suspicious powders. The research was conducted in contribution to the anthrax detector currently under development at this department. Using the enhancement of fluorescence as a method of determining whether a sample contains spores shows great potential because DPA is not found in most powders that do not contain spores. Thus, its detection is a good indication of the presence of spores. The research presented in this thesis primarily focuses on the optimisation of measurement and enhancement techniques. Both DPA and milk powder (containing spores) were used as anthrax simulants. We found that 210 nm light was the optimal wavelength for the enhancement of DPA; however, as most light sources have a higher intensity at longer wavelengths, the use of 270 nm light may be more effective. At low concentrations, there is a linear relationship between detected fluorescence intensity and the quantity of DPA present. A linear response was also found to the enhancement-light exposure time.