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Microsensors in Cancer Research

Oxygen consumption rate measurements of 4T1 cancer cells using the MicroRespiration System

With the Unisense MicroRespiration System it is possible to do real-time measurements of the oxygen consumption of cells. Substrates can be injected while measuring, and the effect of adding e.g. electron transport chain substrates, inhibitors or drugs to the cells can be studied in closed chambers.

Dr. Ravera from the University of Genova has used the Unisense Micro¬Respiration System to measure the respiration rate of 4T1 cells, a derived murine breast cancer cell line, during the addition of respiratory substrates and inhibitors.

Figure 2 shows a typical oxygen consumption curve obtained with the 4T1 cells. It was possible to observe an increment of oxygen consumption after the addition of pyruvate/malate or succinate and an inhibition of respiration after the addition of rotenone and antimycin A. The respiration rate (nmol/h) was calculated from the oxygen concentration measurements in Figure 2 with the SensorTrace Rate software.

Using the Unisense MicroRespiration System, the authors could measure the respiration rate of cancer cells and evaluate the effect of adding different substrates and inhibitors to the cells. Besides 4T1 cells, the authors have measured the respiration rate of murine B16 melanoma, CT26 colon carcinoma and L1210 lymphocytic leukemia cells. The researchers have found that treatment with curcumin induces an energetic impairment in the cancer cells by inhibiting ATP-synthase activity and by decreasing ATP generation and oxygen consumption both in vitro and in vivo (Bianchi et al. 2018).

Dr. Ravera and coworkers have also used the Unisense MicroRespiration System to measure the respiration rate of subcellular fractions e.g. rod outer segment disks, isolated myelin vesicles and exosomes (Panfoli et al. 2016).

For further reading please see the full application note and the article: Bianchi et al. (2018) Curcumin induces a fatal energetic impairment in tumor cells in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting ATP-synthase activity. Carcinogenesis, Vol 39, No. 9, 1141-1150.



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