Multi-use device can shed light on oxygen intake
Optrode self-reference, developed in the laboratory of Marshall Porterfield, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, is noninvasive, can offer real-time data has a calibration sensor life and does not consume oxygen as the traditional sensors that can compete with the sample being measured. A document on the device was launched in the early online version of the journal The Analyst in the week.
“It is very sensitive in terms of biological specimens that can control,” said Porterfield. “We do not only measure the oxygen concentration, flow is measured. That’s what is important for biologists.”
Mohammad Rameez Chutney, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Porterfield said the sensor could be widely used in various disciplines. Evidence included the tumor cells, fish eggs, the material in the spinal cord and roots of plants.
Cancer cells usually oxygen intake at higher rates than healthy cells, said Chutney. Measuring how a chemotherapy drug affects the oxygen intake in both types of cells tell researchers if the treatment was effective in killing the tumor, leaving healthy cells.
Plant biologists might be interested in the sensor to measure oxygen consumption of the roots of a plant genetic engineering for their ability to survive in different soil types.
“This tool can have applications in biomedical science, agriculture, material science. It is in all disciplines,” said Chutney.
The sensor is created by heating an optical fiber and pull it to create two optrodes also indicated 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 a optrode.
Oxygen binds to the fluorescent dye. When a blue light is transmitted through the optrode, the dye emits red tail lights. The complex analysis of the red light shows the concentration of oxygen present in the tip of the optrode.
The optrode is oscillated between two points, one just above the sample surface and another at close range. On the basis of the difference in oxygen concentrations, called flow, the amount of oxygen being taken in the sample is calculated.
It is the acceptance or transport of oxygen, Porterfield said, it is important to understand.
“Knowing the concentration of oxygen in or around a sample does not necessarily correlate with the underlying biological processes going on,” he said.
Porterfield said that future work will focus on modifying the device to measure things such as the intake of sodium and potassium as well. The National Science Foundation funded the research.