Measurement of tumor oxygenation: a comparison between polarographic needle electrodes and a time-resolved luminescence-based optical sensor

Radiat Res. 1997 Mar;147(3):329-34.


A novel oxygen sensor which does not rely on electrochemical reduction has been used to measure the oxygenation of the murine sarcoma F in a comparative study with an existing polarographic electrode that is available commercially. The prototype luminescence sensor yielded an oxygen distribution comparable with readings made using a pO2 histograph. The percentage of regions detected that had a pO2 less than 5 mm Hg was 79 and 75 using the Eppendorf pO2 histograph and the luminescence fiber optic sensor, respectively. These values were compatible with a measured radiobiologically hypoxic fraction of 67% in this tumor. The polarographic method detected more regions with a pO2 of 2.5 mm Hg or less (69%) compared with the optical sensor (50%) (P < 0.05). This could reflect differences in the oxygen use of the sensing devices. This initial assessment indicates the potential of a fiber-optic-based oxygen-monitoring system. Such a system should have several advantages including monitoring temporal oxygen changes in a given microregion and use with NMR procedures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Hypoxia / diagnosis
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Phenanthrolines*
  • Polarography
  • Ruthenium
  • Sarcoma, Experimental / blood supply*
  • Sarcoma, Experimental / radiotherapy


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Phenanthrolines
  • Ruthenium
  • tris(4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline)ruthenium (II)
  • Oxygen