DYNAMIC GAS MIXTURES
Description of the Application.
University of Oxford is interested in understanding cellular responses to changes in oxygen levels, relevant to the study of diseases such as cancer, stroke, and in transplant medicine. The activity of human or mouse cells cultured in vitro is monitored using real-time fluorescent readouts of changes in intracellular Ca2+ or NADH levels, in response to a reduction in available O2. In our setup, cells are superfused with medium pre-equilibrated to 5% CO2 and a defined, variable pO2, and fluorescence monitored by epifluorescence microscopy. To this end, Univerisity of Oxford required a method of generating gas mixtures containing a wide variety of physiologically relevant oxygen concentrations, with which superfusing solutions can be bubbled to equilibrate.
This is traditionally achieved using pre-mixed compressed gas cylinders, though this requires substantial infrastructure and space, with offering limited flexibility in terms of available gas mixtures. Moreover, obtaining custom mixtures containing less common O2 concentrations can be costly, both financially and timely. With N2 and CO2 available via a central source within the building, electronic gas mixers offered a more flexible and user-friendly option to deliver custom gas mixtures.
Benefits and Savings.
BENEFITS – Availability of customisable gas mixtures without any change in hardware or need for additional supplies.
COST SAVINGS – Using building supplies of N2 and CO2 will reduce the long-term running costs of the equipment, and will negate the need to order custom gas mixtures supplied in cylinders
TIME SAVINGS – The immediate availability of any gas mixture required (5% CO2, 0-18% O2) is a potentially substantial time saving feature, as ordering custom gas mixtures can take 1 month.
OXYGEN REGULATED MICROSCOPE PERFUSION SYSTEM
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation.
The university is made up of 39 semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions.