A microwell array device capable of measuring single-cell oxygen consumption rates

Timothy W. Molter, Sarah C. McQuaide, Martin T. Suchorolski, Tim J. Strovas, Lloyd W. Burgess, Deirdre R. Meldrum, Mary E. Lidstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Due to interest in cell population heterogeneity, the development of new technology and methodologies for studying single cells has dramatically increased in recent years. The ideal single cell measurement system would be high throughput for statistical relevance, would measure the most important cellular parameters, and minimize disruption of normal cell function. We have developed a microwell array device capable of measuring single cell oxygen consumption rates (OCR). This OCR device is able to diffusionally isolate single cells and enables the quantitative measurement of oxygen consumed by a single cell with fmol/min resolution in a non-invasive and relatively high throughput manner. A glass microwell array format containing fixed luminescent sensors allows for future incorporation of additional cellular parameter sensing capabilities. To demonstrate the utility of the OCR device, we determined the oxygen consumption rates of a small group of single cells (12-18) for three different cells lines: murine macrophage cell line RAW264.7, human epithelial lung cancer cell line A549, and human Barrett's esophagus cell line CP-D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-686
Number of pages9
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Array
  • Lab-on-a-chip
  • Microfabrication
  • Optical sensor
  • Oxygen consumption rate
  • Oxygen sensor
  • Phosphorescence
  • Single cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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