Ultrabright planar optodes for luminescence life-time based microscopic imaging of O<inf>2</inf> dynamics in biofilms

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Journal Article
Journal of Microbiological Methods, 2011, 85 (1), pp. 67 - 74
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New transparent optodes for life-time based microscopic imaging of O2 were developed by spin-coating a μm-thin layer of a highly luminescent cyclometalated iridium(III) coumarin complex in polystyrene onto glass cover slips. Compared to similar thin-film O2 optodes based on a ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complex or a platinum(II) porphyrin, the new planar sensors have i) higher brightness allowing for much shorter exposure times and thus higher time resolution, ii) more homogeneous and smaller pixel to pixel variation over the sensor area resulting in less noisy O2 images, and iii) a lower temperature dependency simplifying calibration procedures. We used the new optodes for microscopic imaging of the spatio-temporal O2 dynamics at the base of heterotrophic biofilms in combination with confocal imaging of bacterial biomass and biofilm structure. This allowed us to directly link biomass distribution to O2 distribution under both steady state and non-steady state conditions. We demonstrate that the O2 dynamics in biofilms is governed by a complex interaction between biomass distribution, mass transfer and flow that cannot be directly inferred from structural information on biomass distribution alone. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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