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Press Releases

September 26, 2013

Sharp Introduces Microbe Sensor for Fast*1,
Automatic Measurement and Visualized Count of Airborne Microbes

Microbe sensor <BM-300C>

Sharp Corporation has developed a microbe sensor that quickly and automatically measures the amount of airborne microbes such as bacteria and mold spores. The product will go on sale to corporate customers starting in October 2013.

Worksites in industries such as food processing and pharmaceuticals manufacturing need to prevent contamination of products by airborne microbes by continuously monitoring the level of these microbes in the air. Currently in widespread use for the detection of microbes is the petri dish culturing method, in which microbes are cultivated in a petri dish and then monitored. However, this method takes skilled workers from several days to a week to perform manually, and it cannot be used to provide real-time, accurate measures of microbe concentrations.

Sharp's newly developed sensor takes in air from the measuring area, extracts the microbes that need to be detected, and uses Sharp's proprietary version of the fluorescent detection method*2 to automatically measure the amount of the microbes—all in approximately 10 minutes*3. It can also conduct continuous measuring, making it possible to monitor*4 changes in microbe counts over time.

The user can install multiple sensors, which can be controlled via computer. Various measuring points in a room can then be automatically monitored at the same time. For example, multiple sensors can be installed at different points in a large factory and these can be monitored via computer for changes in microbe counts over time. This allows for meticulous environmental monitoring, since if a particularly major change in microbe measurement is detected, the location of the pollutant can be identified immediately.

In addition, users can remotely access the computers controlling microbe counts and view measurement data on a smartphone or other terminal. By enabling remote monitoring of environmental conditions, this system enhances risk management at times when there are significant changes in microbe measurements.

Product name Microbe sensor
Model BM-300C
Measurement time Approx. 10 minutes*3
Dimensions/Weight 214 (W) × 214 (D) × 194.5 (H) mm / Approx. 3 kg
Detection method Fluorescent detection method (heat-induced increase of fluorescence)

Main Features

  • 1. Automatically measures the amount of airborne microbes (bacteria, mold spores, etc.) in approx. 10 minutes.
  • 2. Allows continuous measurement for ongoing monitoring of microbe counts.
  • 3. Having multiple sensors linked in a network allows each sensor, or all of them, to be monitored by computer.
  • 4. Measurement data can be viewed on smartphones and other user terminals.
  • *1 As little as 10 minutes. Measurement time is short compared to the petri dish culturing method, which takes several days to a week.
  • *2 Microbes can give off fluorescent light when subjected to a certain wavelength of light, making it possible to measure the amount of microbes.
  • *3 Measurement time will vary depending on various factors, such as the measurement environment and the amount of microbes.
  • *4 The monitored data is gathered by the PC or other device to which the sensor is connected.
Product name Microbe sensor
Model BM-300C
Detection method Fluorescent detection method (heat-induced increase of fluorescence)
Data output mode Fluorescence strength (V/sec) or microbial conversion (particles/m3)
Saving format CSV format
Dimensions/Weight 214 (W) × 214 (D) × 194.5 (H) mm / Approx. 3 kg
Power supply voltage AC adapter (Rated input power AC 100 V–240 V, 50/60 Hz)
Battery (option)
Operating time: 16 hours*5
External interface LAN x 1 port (10BASE-T/100BASE-TX)
USB x 1 port (USB 2.0) (FAT-formatted USB memory only)
Power consumption 28 VA (when using AC adapter)
  • *5 Based on continuous operation. Operating time will vary depending on parameter settings and may be shortened by repeated charging and discharging of battery.

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