The self-referencing optrode, developed in the lab of Marshall Porterfield, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, is non-invasive, can deliver real-time data, holds a calibration for the sensor's lifetime and doesn't consume oxygen like traditional sensors that can compete with the sample being measured. A paper on the device was released on the early online version of the journal The Analyst this week.
"It's very sensitive in terms of the biological specimens we can monitor," Porterfield said. "We don't only measure oxygen concentration, we measure the flux. That's what's important for biologists."
Mohammad Rameez Chatni, a doctoral student in Porterfield's lab, said the sensor could be used broadly across disciplines. Testing included tumor cells, fish eggs, spinal cord material and plant roots.
Cancerous cells typically intake oxygen at higher rates than healthy cells, Chatni said. Measuring how a chemotherapy drug affects oxygen intake in both kinds of cells would tell a researcher whether the treatment was effective in killing tumors while leaving healthy cells unaffected.
Plant biologists might be interested in the sensor to measure oxygen intake of a genetically engineered plant's roots to determine its ability to survive in different types of soil.
"This tool could have applications in biomedical science, agriculture, material science. It's going across all disciplines," Chatni said.
The sensor is created by heating an optical fiber and pulling it apart to create two pointed optrodes about 15 microns in diameter, about one-tenth the size of a human hair. A membrane containing a fluorescent dye is placed on the tip of an optrode.
Oxygen binds to the fluorescent dye. When a blue light is passed through the optrode, the dye emits red light back. The complex analysis of that red light reveals the concentration of oxygen present at the tip of the optrode.
The optrode is oscillated between two points, one just above the surface of the sample and another a short distance away. Based on the difference in the oxygen concentrations, called flux, the amount of oxygen being taken in by the sample is calculated.
It's the intake, or oxygen transportation, that Porterfield said is important to understand.
"Just knowing the oxygen concentration in or around a sample will not necessarily correlate to the underlying biological processes going on," he said.
Porterfield said future work will focus on altering the device to measure things such as sodium and potassium intake as well. The National Science Foundation funded the research.Writer: Brian Wallheimer, 765-496-2050, email@example.com
Brian Wallheimer | EurekAlert!
Researchers reveal new details on aged brain, Alzheimer's and dementia
21.11.2017 | Allen Institute
Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development
21.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine