InstaScope is “like an instant microscope which determines the load and composition of the air you are breathing”. The device functions as a real time bio-aerosol detector. Rooted in military technology for detecting bio warfare agents, the technology was expanded by DetetionTek to detect a wider range of aerosols of commercial concern and refined into a tool for gauging air quality, specifically the load and composition of airborne mold, pollen, and bacteria, InstaScope measures: airborne mold concentrations, fine particles (PM2.5 and PM10), temperature and relative humidity.
The device determines both “how many and what kind” of airborne particles are in the sample. When compared to others, biological particles have unique sizes, shapes and biofluorescence. A simple way of explaining bioflouresence is that when organic particles are hit with invisible light they reflect visible light and that visible light can be measured and used for identification.
The InstaScope uses a library of optical signatures to differentiate between particle types. The device measures the size and bioflourescent “color” of all particles counted and then compares that to a library of known bioaerosol signatures. The InstaScope takes the particle-by-particle data and produces both a number concentration of bioaerosols and a “decision logic” with green, yellow, and red exposure conditions.