For many of us, the word “aerosol” invokes images of spray cans and 1980’s hair care products. For the entrepreneurs and scientists behind Fort Collins, Colorado-based Aerosol Devices, Inc, aerosol science is a serious science, a life passion and a means to help make our world a better place.
Aerosol is a broad term that refers to the suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in air or other gas. Tiny particles measured in nanometers can have profound impacts on our health and our environment. Air pollutants, chemicals, smoke particles, bacteria and – yes, even viruses – exist in the air as aerosols. Aerosol contamination can interfere with highly sensitive manufacturing processes, wasting businesses millions of dollars. They can wreak havoc on entire environmental ecosystems. Research into how aerosol particles work and developing technology to analyze them effectively translate into improvements in the environment, health, safety, and our overall quality of life.
Founded in 2014 by two decorated aerosol science researchers, Aerosol Devices, Inc is bringing leading-edge aerosol science out of the lab and into real-world applications. CEO Pat Keady and co-founder Dr. Susan Hering have a combined 22 patents, spanning aerosol measurement techniques and aerosol instrumentation. They are engineering and producing superior aerosol sampling technology to answer the question “how can you effectively collect and analyze nanometer particles?”
Aerosol Devices has launched three groundbreaking air sampler products, with world-wide distribution and demand fulfilled from their Northern Colorado headquarters. Their technology solves several of the major challenges of existing aerosol collection methods by providing:
- High collection efficiency for both large and small inhalable particles
- Direct gentle collection that maintains microbe viability and preserves genetic material for testing
- Concentrated samples that are ready for analysis, minimizing manual sample preparation and handling
The company’s work has garnered attention from National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy and the Department of Defense (think uses in defense against anthrax, chemical weapons and biological warfare). Over $3M of grant and co-development funding has funneled into the Northern Colorado community through partnerships with these and other research institutions.
As the company has grown, so has its impact on the Northern Colorado community. They are collaborating with top academic institutions in our region and around the country to commercialize leading-edge research and ideas. The business has created 9 well-paying jobs and is continuing to grow. With support from the Warehouse Business Accelerator, their leadership team is working on sources of funding to support the development of new types of devices and new commercial markets, as well as strategies for scaling the organization to propel the growing demand for their technology.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting COVID-19 pandemic have raised our collective awareness that we need to understand what is in the air we breathe. In the pre-COVID world, interest in aerosol measurement was highly specialized for academia, environmental research, semiconductors and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Public health officials are now very interested in air sampling to measure the concentration and viability of airborne viruses and pathogens called bioaerosols. Aerosol Devices sits at the forefront of bioaerosol sampling technology, with opportunities to develop new scalable and cost-effective devices that arm decision-makers with the data they need to keep our society safe.
The Warehouse Business Accelerator connects technology and advanced manufacturing businesses like Aerosol Devices with a network of mentors and resources to help them scale up, accelerate strategic decisions and grow more effectively. COVID-19 has created opportunities for every business to re-evaluate strategy and adapt. Contact us to schedule an initial discussion with the Warehouse team to discuss how our experienced team and nonprofit model can help your business survive, thrive and scale up within the reality of a post-COVID world.