Soft micromonitors keep tabs on oxygen in new tissues

first_img Rice University bioengineers developed fluorescent microparticles that can be suspended in hydrogel scaffolds seeded with live cells. The microparticles can be used to monitor for the presence of oxygen in hydrogel cultures that help injuries heal. (Credit: Reid Wilson/Rice University) Return to article. Long DescriptionRice University bioengineers developed fluorescent microparticles that can be suspended in hydrogel scaffolds seeded with live cells. The microparticles can be used to monitor for the presence of oxygen in hydrogel cultures that help injuries heal. Illustration by Reid WilsonGrande-Allen and her team designed their fluorescent particles to report on oxygen levels inside gels. Their work appears in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering.“We’ve been collaborating with investigators in intestinal mechanobiology and wanted a straightforward way to tell what level of oxygen we had throughout our 3D tissue cultures,” Grande-Allen said. “Where we intend a specific level of oxygen, we want to be sure that’s what the cells are getting.“There are multiple ways of doing this,” she said. “We can have computational models, but we’d have to make several assumptions about the way oxygen permeates the culture medium and 3D scaffold material. A better way is to measure it directly, so that was our goal.” Rice University bioengineers developed fluorescent microparticles that can be suspended in hydrogel scaffolds seeded with live cells. The microparticles can be used to monitor for the presence of oxygen in hydrogel cultures that help injuries heal. (Credit: Reid Wilson/Rice University) Return to article. Long DescriptionJennifer ConnellGrande-Allen said the particles aren’t susceptible to photobleaching (fading) when illuminated at the proper wavelength, nor did they sink out of the hydrogel, as larger fluorescent particles were prone to do, even after a year in storage.She noted that tissues like cartilage and certain types of diseased heart valves don’t have vascular networks, yet their cells thrive. “I’ve always wondered how these cells get nourishment and what they need to survive,” she said. “With oxygen-sensing microparticles and other techniques we use in my lab to stretch living and engineered materials, we can start to work toward answering these questions.”Rice research scientist Jennifer Connell is co-author of the paper. Grande-Allen is a professor of bioengineering and chair of the Rice Department of Bioengineering.The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b00257Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:Molecular bait can help hydrogels heal wounds: https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG14650.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more