June 8, 2016

DEMOX: a miniature optical oxygen sensor

Molecular oxygen is a prerequisite for the life of most animal and plant cells. Since both respiration and photosynthesis are vital for cells and tissues, measurement and control of oxygen consumption and production is of particular importance in the life sciences. Traditionally, oxygen concentration is measured electrochemically, while more recently optical sensors have become more widely used. The working principle of these optical sensors is based on selective quenching of the luminescence of dyes in the presence of oxygen.

DEMOX reader

CSEM’s optical oxygen sensors are based on the functionalization of thin mesoporous silica-based films with selective dye indicators. They can be glued to the inner surface of disposable transparent tissue culture flasks, tubes, bottles, bags, test plates, dishes or bioreactors and the oxygen concentration can be measured non-invasively through the wall of the container, thus avoiding sample contamination.

Originally developed to monitor dissolved oxygen in real time in cell and tissue cultures, the DEMOX optical reader is a versatile device that enables oxygen measurements for many different applications. It can be used to assess air and water quality as well as to support process control of food and beverages. This extra compact device has been designed and packaged in a format very similar to a microscope objective. It can be directly mounted on most of microscopes that are regularly used in biology. The microscope facilitates alignment between sensors and reader while ensuring a stable and constant optical environment. The DEMOX reader allows the rapid, efficient and non-invasion measurements of oxygen concentration in a wide range of environments.

Promising applications

The solution is highly customizable. The DEMOX compact reader with standalone and wireless communication capabilities can generate a whole range of new applications related to in-line oxygen measurement in life sciences, biotechnology, medical technology, pharmaceutics, and environmental research:

  • Monitoring of respiration—oxygen consumption
  • Monitoring of photosynthesis—oxygen production
  • Food and beverage process control
  • Air monitoring for medical purposes
  • Water quality monitoring

DEMOX reader equipped with fully integrated, miniaturized optics and electronics; and DEMOX sterile sensor for non-invasive, optical reading in a cell culture.

DEMOX reader can be directly mounted on most of microscopes that are regularly used in biology.