Researchers at the University of Tokyo and Nagoya University, Japan, have created a device that can measure the oxygen levels in various parts of plants and animals. This new tool will make it easier to study cellular respiration through photosynthesis.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo and Nagoya University, Japan, have created a device that can measure the oxygen levels in various parts of plants and animals. The device is made of nanocrystalline silicon, which makes it capable of measuring oxygen levels in cells. The researchers hope that this device will be able to study cancer cells more effectively while they're growing in cultures outside the body by helping them understand how they change over time.
There are many ways to measure blood sugar levels in diabetics—lancets, glucose meters or even non-invasive methods like infrared light—but when compared with conventional methods for detecting tumors such as mammograms or ultrasounds, these new flexible electronics have a distinct advantage: They're cheap and easy to use wherever there's access to an electrical outlet (or battery).
Many people are probably unaware that plant and animal cells contain oxygen, which comes from breathing. Oxygen levels vary in different cells, and this difference is believed to be related to diseases such as cancer.
In biological research, it can be difficult to measure exact amounts of oxygen present in a sample because the sensors used need to be very close to the object being studied. To solve this problem, scientists have developed a new type of sensor they call "nanocrystalline silicon" that emits light when exposed to visible light (the type we can see). It's still early days for this technology but its potential applications could include measuring the amount of carbon dioxide produced by various tissues during photosynthesis or detecting other gases in blood samples without having them analyzed after each test run like traditional techniques require."
You might think that your cells breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, but this wouldn't actually be correct. Cells breathe by taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide; however, it's not the oxygen or carbon dioxide that's doing the breathing—it's you! The process of respiration occurs when cells take apart substances (like food) to get their energy and make new things out of them—and our bodies need a lot of energy to keep going.
You probably know already that when you breathe, air travels through your lungs into your bloodstream and then on to the rest of your body. But what happens next? How does this air get used up? The answer is respiration: breathing out waste products like carbon dioxide (CO2).
While you might think that oxygen is essential to all living things, it actually varies between different types of cells.
In the case of cancer, for example, some tumor cells are able to use a process called aerobic glycolysis — turning glucose into energy with oxygen instead of carbon dioxide and water — even in low-oxygen environments. This makes them resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy drugs that target rapidly dividing cells (which require lots of oxygen).
The device measures changes in visible light — similar to how plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy — which allows researchers to track how much oxygen is getting into each cell type.
The device measures changes in visible light, similar to the way that plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy. It uses nanocrystalline silicon, a semiconductor material similar to those used in solar panels: it absorbs light and turns it into heat. The researchers coated the nanocrystalline silicon with titanium dioxide (TiO2), a compound that can be made thinner than a human hair.
When they inserted the device under an opaque membrane, they could detect changes in temperature when they shone visible light on it through the membrane - which meant that they could measure concentrations of proteins inside cells by detecting those temperatures changes.
The new technology is not yet ready for clinical use but its developers are keen for others to try out their method too; details are published today in Nature Materials.
How do you think this device would be used in the future?
This is a great question. This device uses nanocrystalline silicon, which emits light when exposed to visible light. It is similar to other devices that we use today because it can detect certain molecules or chemicals in the air or liquid samples. However, this sensor is different from most other sensors because it consists of only one layer of material instead of multiple layers that are stacked up on top of each other. The design allows for easier manufacturing and assembly so the cost will hopefully go down once manufacturers start making them for commercial use!
One of the most intriguing aspects of photosynthesis is just how much information it can provide about a biological object. Scientists have been able to use these measurements to create sensors that are capable of measuring changes in visible light, which are then translated into measurements of oxygen levels in cells. Such sensors can be placed on living organisms like plants or microorganisms, or they may be used on solutions containing microorganisms. The device works by using nanocrystalline silicon as a photoreceptor—a material that absorbs light energy and converts it into an electrical current. When exposed to UV light, this material generates an electrical current that can be measured by electrodes attached nearby.
The team expects that this will be useful for studying cellular respiration in plants and animals. It could also be used to measure the effects of drugs on cell metabolism by tracking oxygen levels in individual cells or clusters of cells. The researchers are working on improving their device so that it can detect smaller concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide than those currently used for human breath analysis.