Respiration Rate Determined by Phosphorescence-Based Sensors

  • Michael KonopkaEmail author
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


Respiration rates can be a powerful diagnostic tool that provides insight into the metabolic activity of the cells. An optical-based method is well suited for making oxygen consumption measurements in microbial populations, whether on a model organism or environmental sample. This approach utilizes phosphorescent dyes since the lifetime of their excited state depends on the oxygen concentration. Two systems are described using closed sample chambers which can be constructed at minimal costs from off-the-shelf parts. The first system is designed around a glass cuvette utilizing an oil layer as an oxygen barrier. The second system is adapted to an existing microscope and uses a cavity well slide with a glass coverslip lid as the sample chamber. In both systems a photomultiplier tube or gated CCD camera is used for detecting the phosphorescent signal which, when calibrated, provides a reliable measurement of oxygen concentration over time.


Environmental microbiology Oxygen sensor Phosphorescence lifetime Respiration rate measurement 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of AkronAkronUSA

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