TE-BC251 NIOSH Bioaerosol Cyclone

Developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and manufactured by Tisch Environmental, the TE-BC251 is a wearable multi-stage bio-aerosol collector used for the collection of airborne viruses including INFLUENZA and COVID-19. This high quality, low cost cyclone is well suited for quick deployment to respond to the current rapidly evolving climate.  The multi stage cyclone is designed to trap bio-aerosols in one of three compartments for accurate retrieval of samples at multiple cut points.

At 3.5 l/min, the BC 251 conforms to the ACGIH/ISO criterion for separation of respirable and non-respirable airborne particles, which is widely used in health-related aerosol measurements. The BC 251 has been successfully used to collect airborne influenza virus in healthcare facilities and from the coughs of influenza patients. The sampler can be operated with commercially-available personal air sampling pumps.


Each sampler comes with the following:

  • (1) BC251 Cyclone
  • (1) Heavy Duty Carrying Case
  • (2) Falcon™ 15 mL Conical Centrifuge Tubes
  • (2) Fisherbrand™ Nonsterile Threaded End Microcentrifuge Tube without Caps
  • (2) Fisherbrand™ Colored Screw Caps
  • (1) Jar of O-ring grease
  • (10) TE-BC251-5 EPDM O-Ring, 1/16 Width Dash Number 027
  • (1) Filter Cassette
flow rate
1st stage 50%
cut-off size (um)
1st stage
standard deviation)
2nd stage 50%
cut-off size (um)
2nd stage
standard deviation)
2 4.9 1.48 1.7 1.68
3.5 4.1 1.51 1.0 1.59
10 2.1 1.44 0.41 1.56

Fennelly, KP (2020). Particle sizes of infectious aerosols: implications for infection control. Lancet Respir Med 8(9): 914-924. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32717211

Gralton, J, ER Tovey, ML McLaws and WD Rawlinson (2013). Respiratory virus RNA is detectable in airborne and droplet particles. J Med Virol 85(12): 2151-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23959825

Leung, NHL, DKW Chu, EYC Shiu, KH Chan, JJ McDevitt, BJP Hau, HL Yen, Y Li, DKM Ip, JSM Peiris, WH Seto, GM Leung, DK Milton and BJ Cowling (2020). Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nat Med 26(5): 676-680. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32371934

Lindsley, WG, FM Blachere, DH Beezhold, RE Thewlis, B Noorbakhsh, S Othumpangat, WT Goldsmith, CM McMillen, ME Andrew, CN Burrell and JD Noti (2016). Viable influenza A virus in airborne particles expelled during coughs versus exhalations. Influenza Other Respir Viruses 10(5): 404-13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26991074

Lindsley, WG, TA Pearce, JB Hudnall, KA Davis, SM Davis, MA Fisher, R Khakoo, JE Palmer, KE Clark, I Celik, CC Coffey, FM Blachere and DH Beezhold (2012). Quantity and size distribution of cough-generated aerosol particles produced by influenza patients during and after illness. J Occup Environ Hyg 9(7): 443-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22651099

Milton, DK, MP Fabian, BJ Cowling, ML Grantham and JJ McDevitt (2013). Influenza virus aerosols in human exhaled breath: particle size, culturability, and effect of surgical masks. PLoS Pathog 9(3): e1003205. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23505369

Pan, M, JA Lednicky and CY Wu (2019). Collection, particle sizing and detection of airborne viruses. J Appl Microbiol 127(6): 1596-1611. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30974505

Yan, J, M Grantham, J Pantelic, PJ Bueno de Mesquita, B Albert, F Liu, S Ehrman, DK Milton and E Consortium (2018). Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal influenza cases from a college community. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115(5): 1081-1086. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29348203

Binder, RA, NA Alarja, ER Robie, KE Kochek, L Xiu, L Rocha-Melogno, A Abdelgadir, SV Goli, AS Farrell, KK Coleman, AL Turner, CC Lautredou, JA Lednicky, MJ Lee, CR Polage, RA Simmons, MA Deshusses, BD Anderson and GC Gray (2020). Environmental and Aerosolized Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Among Hospitalized Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients. J Infect Dis 222(11): 1798-1806. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32905595

Birgand, G, N Peiffer-Smadja, S Fournier, S Kerneis, FX Lescure and JC Lucet (2020). Assessment of Air Contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in Hospital Settings. JAMA Netw Open 3(12): e2033232. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33355679

Dabisch, P, M Schuit, A Herzog, K Beck, S Wood, M Krause, D Miller, W Weaver, D Freeburger, I Hooper, B Green, G Williams, B Holland, J Bohannon, V Wahl, J Yolitz, M Hevey and S Ratnesar-Shumate (2020). The influence of temperature, humidity, and simulated sunlight on the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosols. Aerosol Sci Technol 55(2): 142-153. https://doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2020.1829536

Edwards, DA, D Ausiello, J Salzman, T Devlin, R Langer, BJ Beddingfield, AC Fears, LA Doyle-Meyers, RK Redmann, SZ Killeen, NJ Maness and CJ Roy (2021). Exhaled aerosol increases with COVID-19 infection, age, and obesity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 118(8): e2021830118. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33563754

Lane, MA, EA Brownsword, A Babiker, JM Ingersoll, J Waggoner, M Ayers, M Klopman, TM Uyeki, WG Lindsley and CS Kraft (2021). Bioaerosol sampling for SARS-CoV-2 in a referral center with critically ill COVID-19 patients March-May 2020. Clin Infect Dis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33506256

Lednicky, JA, M Lauzardo, ZH Fan, A Jutla, TB Tilly, M Gangwar, M Usmani, SN Shankar, K Mohamed, A Eiguren-Fernandez, CJ Stephenson, MM Alam, MA Elbadry, JC Loeb, K Subramaniam, TB Waltzek, K Cherabuddi, JG Morris, Jr. and CY Wu (2020). Viable SARS-CoV-2 in the air of a hospital room with COVID-19 patients. Int J Infect Dis 100: 476-482. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32949774

Lednicky, JA, SN Shankar, MA Elbadry, JC Gibson, MM Alam, CJ Stephenson, A Eiguren-Fernandez, JG Morris, CN Mavian, M Salemi, JR Clugston and C-Y Wu (2020). Collection of SARS-CoV-2 Virus from the Air of a Clinic within a University Student Health Care Center and Analyses of the Viral Genomic Sequence. Aerosol Air Qual Res 20(6): 1167-1171. https://dx.doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.02.0202

Lei, H, F Ye, X Liu, Z Huang, S Ling, Z Jiang, J Cheng, X Huang, Q Wu, S Wu, Y Xie, C Xiao, D Ye, Z Yang, Y Li, NHL Leung, BJ Cowling, J He, SS Wong and M Zanin (2020). SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination associated with persistently infected COVID-19 patients. Influenza Other Respir Viruses 14(6): 688-699. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32578948

Ong, SWX, YK Tan, KK Coleman, BH Tan, YS Leo, DL Wang, CG Ng, OT Ng, MSY Wong and K Marimuthu (2021). Lack of viable severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among PCR-positive air samples from hospital rooms and community isolation facilities. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol: 1-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33487210