Single-cell metabolic analysis is of particular interest for understanding cell heterogeneity, disease initiation, disease progress and drug resistance. There are many assays and sensors for both pH and oxygen, however none can perform real-time direct assays with a focus on oxygen consumption rate and cellular acidification rate for measuring metabolism at the single cell level. Developing a sensor that can dynamically detect the real-time metabolic changes in living organisms on a single cell level could significantly benefit metabolism related diagnostics, therapeutics and fundamental research.
Researchers at the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University have developed novel photo-patternable tri-color sensor compositions that are capable of detecting both pH and oxygen in living cells and tissues within complex biological environments. The optical probes are immobilized in a suitable matrix such that the probes have excellent ion and oxygen permeability. A ratiometric approach can be used to measure pH and oxygen for getting accurate analytical data with minimal interference by the complex biological environment. Because the sensor is photo-patternable, microarrays can be generated for single cell analysis.
The versatility of these novel sensor compositions allows them to be used for many single cell and multi-cell applications including understanding/monitoring cell metabolism during proliferation, inflammation and hypoxia circumstances.
- pH and/or oxygen sensing in single/multiple/clustered living cells and tissues
- Understanding/monitoring cell metabolism under different stimuli and proliferative states
- Understanding cell heterogeneity, disease initiation, disease progress and drug resistance
- Diagnosing hypoxia related diseases
- Measuring single cell oxygen consumption rates and extracellular acidification rates
Benefits and Advantages
- Works with living cells (single, multiple and clustered) and living tissues
- Accurate pH and oxygen concentration in biological conditions using ratiometric approach for easy/accurate calibration in real time - alleviates the potential influences of the biological environment on the measurement accuracy
- Different fluorophores with well-separated emission windows for oxygen and pH
- The matrix ensures that the probes have excellent ion and oxygen permeability
- The pH responses cover the physiological ranges from 7.5 to 5.5 - applicable for biological pH measurements
- The photo-patternable sensors make the preparation of HTP sensors much more feasible than the deposition approach