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Introduction to Hypoxia & Hyperthermia

Hypoxia is defined as the reduction or lack of oxygen in organs, tissues, or cells. In the body, oxygen concentrations range from 1–12%. This decrease of oxygen tension can be due to a reduced supply in oxygen (causes include insufficient blood vessel network, defective blood vessel, and anemia) or to an increased consumption of oxygen relative to the supply (caused by a sudden higher cell proliferation rate). For example, oxygen ranges from 0.5–7% in the brain; 1–5% in the eyes; 4–12% in the liver, heart, and kidneys; and 3–5 % in the uterus. Cells cultured in low oxygen, grow faster, live longer, and show lower stress. Each tissues and cells have a different ability to adapt to this condition. During hypoxia, hypoxia inducible factor alpha (HIF) is stabilized and regulates various genes such as those involved in angiogenesis or transport of oxygen. [1,2,3,4,5]

Another important environmental influencer on cell viability is temperature, especially an increase of temperature (hyperthermia), whereas the sensitivity varies between different cell lines. Recent studies found, that primary cell culture did not show any visible morphological changes after 42° C treatment, whereas in immortalized cell lines usually 90% of the cells were found in suspension. Hyperthermia research plays a major role in stem cell and cancer research. [6,7] 

Environmental stress experiments using the CAN-Q

The CAN-Q System is the perfect tool to perform environmental stress experiments. During a CAN-Spectroscopy measurement, the temperature of the CAN-Q Chip can be set to any value between 32° and 45°C (or higher, if required). Rapid temperature changes can be realized easily and reliable for heat shock experiments.

Additional, an incubation chamber is available, enabling experiments in an incubator-like environment. The provided gas supply system allows setting O2-levels between 0 and 21%, C02 between 0.1 and 20%.  

Experimental data will be published soon. 


[1] Website: Culturing Cells Under Hypoxic Conditions for Biologically Relevant Results, Link, accessed 23.5.2017

[2] Induction and Testing of Hypoxia in Cell Culture; Yotnda, P

[3] The role of oxygen in regulating neural stem cells in development and disease; Panchision, D.M.

[4 ] Hypoxia or in situ normoxia: the stem cell paradigm; Ivanovic, Z.

[5] HIF-1 and human disease: one highly involved factor; Semenza G.L.

[6] Differential heat shock response of primary human cell cultures and established cell lines; Richter, W. W.

[7] In vitro study of the effect of hyperthermia on normal bladder cell line and on five different transitional cell carcinoma cell lines; Soloway, M.S.