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

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.


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

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