Multiparametric microendoscopic physiological sensing

Dr Tushar Choudhary, EPSRC IRC Research Associate, Heriot-Watt University

Abstract:Physiological environments critically regulate many biological processes in health and disease. Even minor perturbations can drastically impact cellular metabolism and tissue viability. As such, eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems have adapted to buffer and respond to fluctuations in pH and oxygen. Despite the presumption of tightly regulated levels of key physiological parameters such as levels of [H+] hydrogen ions and oxygen in health, in many areas of the human body, the environmental physiology is currently unknown due to the paucity of miniaturised clinically compatible technologies.

This talk will cover the development and validation of a fibre based microendoscopic optrode for the accurate, robust and multiplexed optical sensing of pH and oxygen in vivo. The optrode consists of fluorophore loaded silica microspheres sensors selectively deposited at the distal tip of a flexible multicore optical fibre and facilitates unprecedented advantages over other fibre optic physiology sensing platforms through rapid response times and resistance to photobleaching. This microendoscopic optrode could be passed into remote regions of the human body. We demonstrate this in the distal acinar gas exchanging units of the lung, although clearly the platform technology is widely applicable.