Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Top Story

Biosensor allows real-time oxygen monitoring for 'organs-on-a-chip'

A new biosensor allows researchers to track oxygen levels in real time in "organ-on-a-chip" systems, making it possible to ensure that such systems more closely mimic the function of real organs. This is essential if organs-on-a-chip hope to achieve their potential in applications such as drug and toxicity testing. The organ-on-a-chip concept has garnered significant attention from researchers for about a decade. The idea is to create small-scale, biological structures that mimic a specific organ function, such as transferring oxygen from the air into the bloodstream in the same way that a lung does. The goal is to use these organs-on-a-chip -- also called microphysiological models -- to expedite high-throughput testing to assess toxicity or to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs. But while organ-on-a-chip research has made significant advances in recent years, one obstacle to the use of these structures is the lack of tools designed to actually retrieve data from the system. In order for the biosensor to work, researchers must incorporate a thin layer of the gel into an organ-on-a-chip during its fabrication. Because infrared light can pass through tissue, researchers can use a "reader" -- which emits infrared light and measures the echoing flash from the phosphorescent gel -- to monitor oxygen levels in the tissue repeatedly, with lag times measured in the microseconds.

Visit Website | Image credit: North Carolina State University