A stirred microchamber for oxygen consumption rate measurements with pancreatic islets

Klearchos K. Papas, Anna Pisania, Haiyan Wu, Gordon C. Weir, Clark K. Colton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Improvements in pancreatic islet transplantation for treatment of diabetes are hindered by the absence of meaningful islet quality assessment methods. Oxygen consumption rate (OCR) has previously been used to assess the quality of organs and primary tissue for transplantation. In this study, we describe and characterize a stirred micro-chamber for measuring OCR with small quantities of islets. The device has a titanium body with a chamber volume of about 200 μL and is magnetically stirred and water jacketed for temperature control. Oxygen partial pressure (pO2) is measured by fluorescence quenching with a fiber optic probe, and OCR is determined from the linear decrease of pO 2 with time. We demonstrate that measurements can be made rapidly and with high precision. Measurements with βTC3 cells and islets show that OCR is directly proportional to the number of viable cells in mixtures of live and dead cells and correlate linearly with membrane integrity measurements made with cells that have been cultured for 24 h under various stressful conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1082
Number of pages12
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • Islet quality
  • Islet viability
  • Islets of Langerhans
  • Oxygen consumption rate
  • Stirred microchamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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