The vital process of production of energy by burning oxygen takes place in mitochondria. At their cell membranes an electrochemical gradient build up by the respiratory chain is used for controlled burning of hydrogen with oxygen. The energy produced in this process is stored in ATP.
Electron transfer -the deciding part of respiratory chain- is managed by cytochromes (cell pigments), that are -according to their state of activity- oxidised or reduced. If they pass electrons on oxygen, they are oxidised and respiratory chain or internal respiration is in full process.
Human beings depend on this kind of production of energy. Therefore work of mitochondria is a parameter for ongoing vitality of cells. Cytochromes are an early warning system, e.g. at oxygen deficiency. On the other hand redox state is a prove for function and vitality of cell.
are the pigments of tissue (cyto= cell, chrôma=colour; Greek). During
penetration of tissue light takes colour of cytochromes. The spectra of white
light is changed on its way through tissue. Way of change of back scattered
light depends on redox state of cytochromes.
With O2C you can record the spectra, visualize them with usual data processing software and judge changes in redox state.
In transplantation medicine an optimal condition of the organs is essential
during the critical time until reimplantation. Until now condition of organs
only could be observed indirectly by metabolic products like pH, lactate.
Recording the spectra allows visualizing directly aerobic condition of the tissue
and different aspects of metabolism changing and modulation substances can be
Also scientific research often uses perfused organs and cell cultures to investigate physiological, biochemical and pharmacological interactions. Therefore you have to know quality of experimental set up regarding the oxygen supply of the organ or cell cultures and observe vitality of cells and organs during experiment.