METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE USE OF SENTINEL MICROORGANISM

Patent No. 6,146,843

Issued: November 14, 2000

Inventor: Dwight D. Bowman, William C. Ghiorse, Ithaca, NY; Michael B. Jenkins, Wellsville, NY; and Timothy Miller, Ithaca, New York

Assignee: Cornell Research Foundation, Ithaca, NY


 A sentinel chamber for containing microorganisms in a matrix, and methods for the use of the chamber in studying organisms in the field. The matrix is typically the same material as that within which the chamber will be placed. The chamber is made of a cylindrical body having a porous filter at each end. The filter at one end is contained under a snap-on cap, making the filling of the chamber quick and easy. The method of the invention uses the sentinel chambers to study the characteristics and survival of a sentinel organism in a particular environment. The medium present in the environment (i.e. soil, manure, sewage sludge, etc.) is placed in the sentinel chamber and a quantity of the sentinel organism (i.e. C. parvum oocysts) is injected into the medium. A filter is placed across the open end of the chamber, and held in place by the cap. The sentinel chamber is then buried or immersed in the environment (i.e. a field, manure pile, septic tank). After a specified time, during which the conditions in the environment are monitored, the sentinel chamber is removed and the organism studied.


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