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Sensors 2010, 10(10), 9369-9383;

Biomedical Use of Isothermal Microcalorimeters

Laboratory of Biomechanics & Biocalorimetry, Biozentrum/Pharmazentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50-70, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2010 / Revised: 23 August 2010 / Accepted: 30 September 2010 / Published: 18 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Biomechanics and Biomedicine)
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Isothermal microcalorimetry is becoming widely used for monitoring biological activities in vitro. Microcalorimeters are now able to measure heat production rates of less than a microwatt. As a result, metabolism and growth of relatively small numbers of cultured bacteria, protozoans, human cells and even small animals can be monitored continuously and extremely accurately at any chosen temperature. Dynamic effects on these organisms of changes in the culture environment—or of additions to it—are easily assessed over periods from hours to days. In addition microcalorimetry is a non-destructive method that does not require much sample preparation. It is also completely passive and thus allows subsequent evaluations of any kind on the undisturbed sample. In this review, we present a basic description of current microcalorimetry instruments and an overview of their use for various biomedical applications. These include detecting infections, evaluating effects of pharmaceutical or antimicrobial agents on cells, monitoring growth of cells harvested for tissue eingineering, and assessing medical and surgical device material physico-chemical stability and cellular biocompatibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: microcalorimeters; bacteria; human cell lines; antimicrobial agent testing; materials biocompatibility microcalorimeters; bacteria; human cell lines; antimicrobial agent testing; materials biocompatibility
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Braissant, O.; Wirz, D.; Göpfert, B.; Daniels, A. Biomedical Use of Isothermal Microcalorimeters. Sensors 2010, 10, 9369-9383.

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