Microimaging of oxygen concentration near live photosynthetic cells by electron spin resonance

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We present what is, to our knowledge, a new methodology for high-resolution three-dimensional imaging of oxygen concentration near live cells. The cells are placed in the buffer solution of a stable paramagnetic probe, and electron spin-resonance microimaging is employed to map out the probe's spin-spin relaxation time (T2). This information is directly linked to the concentration of the oxygen molecule. The method is demonstrated with a test sample and with a small amount of live photosynthetic cells (cyanobacteria), under conditions of darkness and light. Spatial resolution of ∼30 × 30 × 100 μm is demonstrated, with ∼μM oxygen concentration sensitivity and sub-fmol absolute oxygen sensitivity per voxel. The use of electron spin-resonance microimaging for oxygen mapping near cells complements the currently available techniques based on microelectrodes or fluorescence/phosphorescence. Furthermore, with the proper paramagnetic probe, it will also be readily applicable for intracellular oxygen microimaging, a capability which other methods find very difficult to achieve. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.




Halevy, R., Tormyshev, V., & Blank, A. (2010). Microimaging of oxygen concentration near live photosynthetic cells by electron spin resonance. Biophysical Journal, 99(3), 971–978. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2010.05.002

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