New advancement in developing novel oxygen sensors

  • Published: 2013-04-03
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In the newly updated SMALL journal (impact factor 8.349) website, Heng Liu et al reported their research results about the development of novel oxygen sensor in an original research paper titled “Development of Polymeric Nanoprobes with Improved Lifetime Dynamic Range and Stability for Intracellular Oxygen Sensing” (as soon as publishable, ASAP). SMALL is an international, peer-reviewed journal for nano- and microscience and technology, published by WILEY-VCH. Heng Liu is currently a Ph. D. candidate in School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of UCAS. Oxygen plays a crucial role in many physiological and pathological processes in biological systems. The oxygen level in biological systems has a large impact on the behavior and viability of many types of cells. For instance, excess oxygen in cells leads to overproduction of the extremely reactive and unstable reactive oxygen species (ROS), which result in significant damage of DNA and proteins and inactivation of specific enzymes. At the opposite end, tissue hypoxia has been found to be closely related to the clinical course of a variety of diseases, such as tumor growth, and low oxygen level in tumors has been linked with resistance of the tumors to radiation and chemotherapy. Therefore, accurately determining the oxygen level in complex biological systems is of paramount importance and represents a challenge in biology, physiology, and medicine. As compared to other types of oxygen sensor reported thus far, the nanoprobes that Heng Liu et al developed are characterized by relatively small diameter, biocompatible core-shell structures, covalent attachment enabled leak-free construction, improved lifetime dynamic range, excellent storage stability and photostability, and facile cell uptake. Such above-mentioned figure of merits is indicative of the potential of these nanoparticles for quantitative oxygen levels mapping in living cells and tissue.