Contaminant effect on cellular metabolic differential pressure curves

Marziale Milani, Monica Ballerini, L. Ferraro, M. Zabeo, M. Barberis, M. Cannone, V. Faraone

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The possibility of a pressure monitoring system by differential pressure sensors to detect contaminant effects on cellular cultures metabolic activity is discussed using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, lymphocyte, and AHH1 cell cultures. Metabolic (aerobic and anaerobic) processes in cells are accompanied by CO 2 production that induces changes in pressure values when cells are cultured in sealed vessels. These values are subsequently converted in voltage units and plotted pressure dynamics versus time. This procedure leads to a standard curve, typical of the cellular line, which characterizes cellular metabolism when all parameters are controlled, such as temperature and nutrients. Different phases appear in the S. cerevisiae differential pressure curve: an initial growth up to a maximum, followed by a decrement that leads to a typical "depression" (pressure values inside the test-tubes are lower than the initial one) after about 35 h from the beginning. The S. cerevisiae differential pressure curve is successfully used to test the effects of chemical (Amuchina®, trieline) and physical (UV radiation, blue light, magnetic fields) contaminants. The same technique is applied to lymphocytes and AHH1 cultures to investigate the effects generated by a 72-h exposure to a 50-Hz, 60-μT electromagnetic field. Lymphocyte samples, cultured in a PHA medium, grow less than control ones, but exhibit a greater metabolic activity: changes in the exposure system configuration influence neither sample growth differences nor metabolic response variations between control and irradiated samples, while all the other irradiation parameters remain constant. Control and irradiated lymphocyte samples, without PHA in culture medium, show the same behavior both during irradiation and metabolic test. AHH1 control and irradiated samples show no difference both in growth percentage during irradiation and in metabolic activity. Different cell cultures respond to the same stimulus in different manners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1074-1088
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Electromagnetic fields
  • Environmental toxicology
  • Lymphocyte
  • Metabolism
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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