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Very fast sensors that are able to track rapid changes in oxygen partial pressure (PO2) in the gas and liquid phases are increasingly required in scientific research - particularly in the life sciences. Recent interest in monitoring very fast changes in the PO2 of arterial blood in some respiratory failure conditions is one such example. Previous attempts to design fast intravascular electrochemical oxygen sensors for use in physiology and medicine have failed to meet the criteria that are now required in modern investigations. However, miniature photonic devices are capable of meeting this need. In this article, we present an inexpensive polymer type fibre-optic, oxygen sensor that is two orders of magnitude faster than conventional electrochemical oxygen sensors. It is constructed with biologically inert polymer materials and is both sufficiently small and robust for direct insertion in to a human artery. The sensors were tested and evaluated in both a gas testing chamber and in a flowing liquid test system. The results showed a very fast T90 response time, typically circa 20 ms when tested in the gas phase, and circa 100 ms in flowing liquid.

Original publication




Journal article


Sens Actuators B Chem

Publication Date





531 - 535


Intravascular sensor, Optical oxygen sensors, Polymer optical fibres, Time response testing