September 22, 2009

Fiber-optic oxygen sensor created

Purdue University researchers say they have created a fiber-optic sensor capable of measuring oxygen intake rates in agriculture or medicine.

The researchers, led by Associate Professor Marshall Porterfield, said their self-referencing optrode is non-invasive and has applications ranging from plant root development to assessing the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.

The scientists, including doctoral student Mohammad Rameez, say the device can deliver real-time data without consuming oxygen, as do traditional sensors.

It's very sensitive in terms of the biological specimens we can monitor, Porterfield said. We don't only measure oxygen concentration, we measure the flux. That's what's important for biologists.

The research appears in the early online issue of the journal The Analyst.