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In a recent article published by WRAL TechWire, BME researchers were placed in the spotlight. The team, including assistant professor Michael Daniele and Ph.D. student Kristina Rivera, has developed a new biosensor which collects data on oxygen levels in microscopic biological models of organs, called “organs-on-a-chip.” The biosensor includes a thin layer of a phosphorescent gel, which is exposed to infrared light and then flashes the light back in return. Measuring the lag time between infrared light exposure and the resulting “flash” allows the team to monitor oxygen levels in the environment of the biosensor, and the tissue of the organ-on-a-chip itself, without destroying or damaging the tissue. This enables the researchers to track oxygen concentration over time and continuously analyze the results. The team has successfully tested the biosensor in three-dimensional scaffolds, and are next looking to incorporate it into systems that automatically adjust to maintain a desired oxygen concentration. The paper resulting from this work, “Integrated phosphorescence-based photonic biosensor (iPOB) for monitoring oxygen levels in 3D cell culture systems,” was published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, and can be read here.

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