Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Simultaneous analysis

Abstract:
Simultaneous carbon dioxide and oxygen sensing

Simultaneous analysis

Posted on June 22, 2006

Breathing. Birds, do it, bees do it, even educated trees do it. But, only plants can make sugars from the carbon dioxide byproduct and at the same time expel oxygen during photosynthesis. This amazing skill has intrigued scientists for decades but separating out the carbon dioxide inputs and outputs while keeping tabs on oxygen levels has always proved difficult.

Now, a new type of chemical sensor, described in the journal Advanced Materials, could change all that. The sensor developed by Otto Wolfbeis and colleagues at the Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Chemo- and Biosensors at the University of Regensburg, Germany, will allow clearer insights into plant respiration and photosynthesis. It could also have application in the food and drink industry as well as in the biotech industry where fermentation and related plant processes are important.

Woflbeis explains that in order to unravel the intricacies of photosynthesis and respiration, two of the most important biochemical processes, scientists have to be able to measure carbon dioxide and oxygen at the same time. He and his team have now found a way to side-step the interference from which all previous sensors suffer. The team first create nanoparticles carrying a fluorescent group that react to light and glow only when they are in contact with carbon dioxide molecules.

These nanoparticles are then embedded in a layer of polymer resin. A second compound that does the same in the presence of oxygen molecules is embedded in a second layer of polymer and the two films sandwich between them a layer of an organometallic compound containing the heavy metal iridium. This layer produces a reference signal for the detection of fluorescence triggered by the two gases. Importantly, however, it is impermeable to oxygen molecules and so its light is not quenched by interference from oxygen.

A blue light-emitting diode (LED) then provides the stimulation for the two sensitive layers to produce light, but only in the presence of their respective gases. A tiny photodetector can then measure the wavelength of light emitted, which is different from each sensor molecule. The strength of the emitted light at each wavelength correlates with the concentration of each of the two gases.

The team tested their sensor over a wide range of different carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations produced by a growing microbial culture and found it to operate with a remarkable ±5% accuracy at concentration levels expected for real experiments. At much higher but unrealistic concentrations, accuracy deviated only by as much ±10%. Because the device is designed to be reusable rather than a one-shot dip test, the team tested its response after several hundred runs and found it to still be working at these levels of accuracy after 800 runs.

They anticipate that their composite material will become a powerful tool in biological, biotechnological, and medical research. The simultaneous sensor could also have applications in environmental monitoring of sea water and sewage and in medical diagnostics, where blood gas levels are important to understanding the progression of certain diseases.

The research will be commercialized by Presens GmbH (see http://www.presens.de).

“It is likely to become a powerful tool in combinatorial microbiology, in cell-based screening for drugs, and in biomonitoring in general," Wolfbeis explains. "In combination with fiber optic microsensors, in vivo sensing of oxygen and carbon dioxide should be possible.”

####


Author: Otto Wolfbeis, University of Regensburg (Germany), www.wolfbeis.de/

Title: Composite Material for Simultaneous and Contactless Luminescent Sensing and Imaging of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2006, 18, No. 12, 1511–1516, doi: 10.1002/adma.200600120

Contact:
Editorial office:
angewandte@wiley-vch.de

or David Greenberg (US)
dgreenbe@wiley.com

or Julia Lampam (UK)
jlampam@wiley.co.uk

Copyright © Angewandte Chemie

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Advances in priming B cell immunity against HIV pave the way to future HIV vaccines, shows quartet of new studies May 17th, 2024

International research team uses wavefunction matching to solve quantum many-body problems: New approach makes calculations with realistic interactions possible May 17th, 2024

Aston University researcher receives £1 million grant to revolutionize miniature optical devices May 17th, 2024

Gene therapy relieves back pain, repairs damaged disc in mice: Study suggests nanocarriers loaded with DNA could replace opioids May 17th, 2024

Sensors

Innovative sensing platform unlocks ultrahigh sensitivity in conventional sensors: Lan Yang and her team have developed new plug-and-play hardware to dramatically enhance the sensitivity of optical sensors April 5th, 2024

$900,000 awarded to optimize graphene energy harvesting devices: The WoodNext Foundation's commitment to U of A physicist Paul Thibado will be used to develop sensor systems compatible with six different power sources January 12th, 2024

A color-based sensor to emulate skin's sensitivity: In a step toward more autonomous soft robots and wearable technologies, EPFL researchers have created a device that uses color to simultaneously sense multiple mechanical and temperature stimuli December 8th, 2023

New tools will help study quantum chemistry aboard the International Space Station: Rochester Professor Nicholas Bigelow helped develop experiments conducted at NASA’s Cold Atom Lab to probe the fundamental nature of the world around us November 17th, 2023

Materials/Metamaterials/Magnetoresistance

How surface roughness influences the adhesion of soft materials: Research team discovers universal mechanism that leads to adhesion hysteresis in soft materials March 8th, 2024

Nanoscale CL thermometry with lanthanide-doped heavy-metal oxide in TEM March 8th, 2024

Focused ion beam technology: A single tool for a wide range of applications January 12th, 2024

Catalytic combo converts CO2 to solid carbon nanofibers: Tandem electrocatalytic-thermocatalytic conversion could help offset emissions of potent greenhouse gas by locking carbon away in a useful material January 12th, 2024

Announcements

Virginia Tech physicists propose path to faster, more flexible robots: Virginia Tech physicists revealed a microscopic phenomenon that could greatly improve the performance of soft devices, such as agile flexible robots or microscopic capsules for drug delivery May 17th, 2024

Diamond glitter: A play of colors with artificial DNA crystals May 17th, 2024

Finding quantum order in chaos May 17th, 2024

Oscillating paramagnetic Meissner effect and Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in cuprate superconductor May 17th, 2024

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project