Mitochondrial Respirometry In Frozen Specimens

Tech ID: 29944 / UC Case 2018-676-0


UCLA researchers from the Department of Medicine have developed a novel technique for performing mitochondrial respirometry in frozen specimens to accurately assess the cellular energy production capacity.


Cellular energy metabolism is essential for life and dysfunctional energy metabolism has been implicated in a growing number of human diseases.  However, the barriers to study energy metabolism remain high due to the limitations of current technology which restrict analysis to only living or freshly isolated specimens.  The current inability to analyze bioenergetics in frozen specimen significantly hinders work with clinical samples as they must be performed on site.  This not only limits such research to major academic medical centers, but also requires years to obtain and analyze only a handful of patient samples.  The ability to analyze the respiratory capacity and oxygen consumption rate of previously frozen specimens would open up the field of bioenergetics.


UCLA researchers have developed a novel technique to perform mitochondrial respirometry in frozen samples.  This technique is uniquely resistant to multiple freeze-thaw cycles and overcome the previous limitation of requiring freshly isolated samples.  Moreover, this new technology offers up to a 1,000,000-fold improvement in sensitivity compared to previous methods, allowing for analyses to be performed on much smaller samples such as small tissue biopsies.


  • Pre-clinical and clinical research in bioenergetic mechanisms of disease
  • Identification of new metabolic biomarkers for metabolic disease
  • Mitochondrial disease research
  • Sports medicine research


  • Allows for mitochondrial respirometry to be performed robustly on frozen samples
  • Up to 1,000,000x increased sensitivity over previous methods allowing for analysis to be performed even on small specimens

State Of Development

Protocol finalized and validated.

Patent Status

Patent Pending

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Other Information


mitochondrial respirometry, bioenergetics, mitochondria, metabolism, metabolic disease, oxygen consumption

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