Navigation Links
How much a single cell breathes
Date:5/13/2013

How active a living cell is can be seen by its oxygen consumption. The method for determining this consumption has now been significantly improved by chemists in Bochum. The problem up to now was that the measuring electrode altered the oxygen consumption in the cell's environment much more than the cell itself. "We already found that out twelve years ago," says Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuhmann from the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the Ruhr-Universitt. "Now we have finally managed to make the measuring electrode an spectator." Together with his team, he reports in the "International Edition" of the journal "Angewandte Chemie".

Precise positioning of the measuring electrodes

Cells need oxygen for various metabolic processes, for example to break down glucose. To measure its consumption, researchers have to detect very small signals in a large background noise. For this they use scanning electrochemical microscopy, for which they need to position electrodes with a diameter of five micrometres or below at a distance of 200 nanometres from the cell. To this end, the RUB team has developed a special process over the last few years, with which the distance of the electrode to the cell can be precisely controlled.

Making competition to the cells with microelectrodes

Using the electrode, the researchers first generate oxygen in the aqueous environment of the cell, and then they measure how much of this oxygen the cell utilises. For this purpose, they give the electrode a certain potential at the beginning. This has the effect that electrons are extracted from water in the cell environment under formation of oxygen. The cell can use the oxygen for its metabolism; however, at the same time, the microelectrode applied by the researchers competes against it. They change the potential at the electrode so that the reaction reverses: oxygen is now converted to water. The scientists use the electrode to measure the electrons flowing and thus obtain a measure of the oxygen consumption in the local environment. The more oxygen the cell uses for its metabolism, the less oxygen is left for the current-generating reaction at the electrode. Thus, the lower the current flow measured, the greater the activity of the cell. This method is termed the redox competition mode.

Rapid measurement

In the methods used so far, the oxygen consumption caused by the electrode was significantly higher than that of the cell. "The measurement itself thus caused a stronger local change in the oxygen concentration than the cell metabolism," explains Prof. Schuhmann. It was essential to measure the activity of the cell very quickly after the oxygen was generated at the microelectrode, i.e. after twenty milliseconds. If you wait longer, the electrode deprives the cell of oxygen instead of using the oxygen from the environment that the researchers had artificially created in advance. Three factors were therefore crucial for the success of the Bochum method: the highly accurate position of the electrodes, the redox competition mode and the rapid measuring time.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Wolfgang Schuhmann
wolfgang.schuhmann@rub.de
49-234-322-6200
Ruhr-University Bochum
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cat and mouse: A single gene matters
2. Dartmouth researchers find there is no single sexy chin
3. Sleator lab identifies single point mutation in Listeria monocytogenes
4. Single gene might explain dramatic differences among people with schizophrenia
5. Extremely high estrogen levels may underlie complications of single-birth IVF pregnancies
6. Little did we know about beetle diversity: Astonishing 138 new species in a single genus
7. Light-emitting bioprobe fits in a single cell
8. They hunt, they kill, they cheat: Single-celled algae shed light on social lives of microbes
9. NIH awards Penn scientists $10 million over 5 years for innovative research on single cells
10. Single protein targeted as the root biological cause of several childhood psychiatric disorders
11. New study reveals that every single junk food meal damages your arteries
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform with ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration will ... to access and transact across channels. Using this ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new ... higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health ... mass index, and, when they opt in, share them ... to a local retail location at no cost. By ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT ... care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... the funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with ... tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding ... CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer ... data will then be employed to support the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid ... to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency ... new test has already been incorporated into numerous ... types. Over 230 clinical trials are ... including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention ... recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies ...
Breaking Biology Technology: