The invention is a miniaturized device that assays the respiration of a single mitochondrion. Through a novel approach for measuring oxygen consumption rate, the device provides information on cell and tissue mitochondrial functional. This data is relevant for understanding human conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.
Cell life and death is strongly affected by a number of factors, one of which is mitochondrial function. During the cell life, mitochondria produce the majority of cellular energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and isolates harmful reactive oxygen species. Mitochondria also play an active role in the intrinsic pathway of programmed cell death. Consequently, some diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, and some cancers have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. An efficient way to assess mitochondrial dysfunction is though measuring the mitochondrial respiration rate, yet the technology for doing so is not mature enough for accurate measurements. Current methods are based on miniaturized electrode sensors or oxygen-sensitive luminescent dye. Unfortunately, both methods report the results as an average of thousands of cells or isolated mitochondria, thus the dynamics and variability of respiration rate from single cells or single mitochondria are usually lost. Moreover, rare cells, including stem cells or circulating tumor cells, are masked in such ensemble approaches.
Researchers at UCI have invented novel small-sized chambers that allow accurate assessment of the respiration of a single mitochondrion. The invention offers excellent sealing, with no oxygen consumption and with high measurement sensitivity. Moreover, it offers a fast response time compared to traditional solutions.
· Achieves a single mitochondrial resolution
· The micro-chamber, combined with tight sealing, allows for accurate and precise measurements of mitochondrial respiration