Recommendations for Oxygen electrode

Paul S. Brookes. brookes at
Fri Nov 10 09:59:42 EST 2000

Yellow Springs Instruments (YSI) make a good "black box" that takes the 
signal from the electrode and sends it to a chart recorder, but it is 
rather expensive ($1500).  Their electrodes are also HUGE, and their 
chamber system is 4ml - even the "micro" version is 1ml.  For this reason, 
I'd go with electrodes from Instech - they're really small, they plug into 
the back of the YSI box, and they enable a smaller chamber size.   Instech 
do sell a chamber, but it has a really weird locking-ring system that is 
apparently fiddly to use.

For chambers, we have them custom made from Perspex in the machine shop 
here to hold a volume of 0.2ml, which enables very small sample sizes.   On 
a historical note, the oxygen electrode was developed here at UAB by Leland 
Clark, and the guy who made the very first chambers for cell suspension 
work (Jerry Sewell) still works here and made my chambers for me.   For 
stirrers, Rank Brother's make a nice unit in the UK - their US agent is 
Micrometrix in Georgia.  Just sitting the thing on top of a conventional 
magnetic stirrer can cause interference problems.   Rank also make oxygen 
electrodes which work well.

Consider that your chamber must be clear, to enable light in.   You will 
also need a cooling water bath to keep everything at 20C (at least in 
Alabama you do), and some sort of home-made box to shut out the light, so 
you can switch PS on and off.  I found that a good clear chamber does not 
need a separate ligthing system - bench lights are good enough.  In fact, a 
fiber-optic light system I borrowed caused photobleaching in spinach 

Overall the best solution is to cobble together a system from a number of 
manufacturers.  Several of them will try to sell you the whole thing, but 
it never does exactly what you want it to do.  Custom chambers enable you 
to add in your own designs, such as ports for extra electrodes.   For data 
collection we use a Dataq $100 bargain basement A-D unit linked to a 
PC.  The software is a beast, but it does the job.


Dr. Paul S. Brookes.            (brookes at
UAB Department of Pathology,   G004 Volker Hall
1670 University Blvd., Birmingham AL 35294 USA
Tel (001) 205 934 1915     Fax (001) 205 934 1775

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