The survival of tissues and organs relies on an adequate supply of oxygen. The measurement of tissue oxygen tension (ptiO2) provides a direct measurement of the balance between oxygen supply (by the blood) and metabolic oxygen consumption (by the tissue), i.e. a readout of oxygen availability at the cellular level. This is in contrasts to spectroscopy (NIRS) techniques, which merely describe haemoglobin oxygenation status.
Our OxyLite™ oxygen monitors will be of interest therefore to life scientists wishing to directly and continuously measure dissolved oxygen in the normal physiological as well as hypoxic ranges, both in experimental in vivo models, or in any number of in vitro applications.
Since 1998, when Oxford Optronix pioneered the commercialization of fibre-optic oxygen micro-sensor technology, the OxyLite™ brand has become established the world over, boasting in excess of 500 peer-reviewed journal citations with hundreds of units sold worldwide.
Blending contemporary design, true plug and play convenience and the very latest in opto-electronic technology, our latest generation OxyLite™ Pro systems provide what is simply the most advanced, accurate and reliable tissue oxygen monitoring platform on the market.
Our fibre-optic sensors leverage state-of-the-art optical fluorescence technology intended for the quantitative measurement of oxygen partial pressure (pO2) and temperature in tissues, physiological fluids, cell cultures and other in vitro applications. This technology offers key advantages over traditional, polarographic oxygen sensing techniques, making our monitors much easier to use and ideally suited to oxygen measurements in the physiological range, as well as incredibly sensitive under conditions of hypoxia.
Intended use statement:
OxyLite™ and OxyLite™ Pro are intended for laboratory, industrial and research use only.
|Number of channels|
(max number of sensors supported)
|1||2 (OxyLite Pro)|
4 (OxyLite Pro XL)
|Simultaneous oxygen and temperature |
|USB digital data output||Yes||Yes|
|2-year product warranty||Yes||Yes|
|Sampling rate control||No||Yes|
|Upgradable (addition of channels)||No||Yes|
The OxyLite™ brand is recognized the world over in biomedical hypoxia and ischaemia research, boasting more than 600 peer-reviewed journal citations and hundreds of units sold globally.
Fully 'plug and play' sensors featuring 'EEPROM' technology, no user sensor calibration procedures, no sensor drift, built-in temperature compensation, oxygen measured in absolute units, integrated touchscreen*. Put simply, no other oxygen monitor is easier to use.
OxyLite™ provides a measurement of dissolved oxygen in absolute units of mmHg or kPa. In tissues this represents a direct readout of oxygen
availability to the cell microenvironment, in contrast to blood oxygen saturation assessment, which merely describes the haemoglobin oxygenation status.
Our third-generation fluorescence-based ‘optode’ technology provides unmatched sensitivity, stability, and accuracy in the physiologically relevant oxygen range (0 – 200 mmHg) and under conditions of hypoxia (0 – 15 mmHg). This is partly thanks to a sensor technology that displays essentially zero oxygen consumption at the point of measurement, making sensors innately suitable for continuous and absolute oxygen sensing, even under conditions of extreme hypoxia.
The OxyLite™ Pro is available as a 2-channel or a 4-channel device for simultaneous measurements from up to 4 sensors. This provides the flexibility to monitor oxygen from multiple tissue sites (e.g. for the comparison of pathological versus control tissue sites), or multiple in vitro samples. Furthermore the Pro models feature a touch-sensitive, high-contrast, high viewing-angle display, providing real-time data in both digital and graphical (trace) formats, and access to additional instrument settings.
OxyLite™ monitors are configured for use alongside our OxyFlo™ tissue perfusion monitors in a stack arrangement, for the simultaneous measurement of tissue oxygen and blood flow using our unique multi-parameter sensors.
Our entire range of tissue monitoring devices offers a choice of traditional 0-5V analogue outputs and a digital (USB) data output that supports direct streaming to the popular LabChart® Pro charting software by ADInstruments. After installing a complimentary add-on, LabChart will automatically identify the specific type and model of monitor and pre-load all the necessary configuration and channel settings, providing the ultimate in ‘plug and play’ convenience. For researchers wishing to make multi-parameter measurements, the add-on supports multiple Oxford Optronix devices at the same time.
Our monitors are provided with a comprehensive 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, covering defects in material or in workmanship. Optional extended warranty packages including preventative maintenance servicing are also available for additional peace of mind.
by Justin Croft, 15 June 2023
by Justin Croft, 24 November 2022
by Justin Croft, 22 February 2022
by Justin Croft, 1 June 2021
by Justin Croft, 17 August 2021
A single, combined oxygen/temperature sensor was used to continuously measure hind leg muscle tissue pO2 and temperature during repeated phases of contraction stimulation. The upper trace shows pO2 in units of mmHg; the lower trace shows temperature in units of degrees C.
What physiological parameters does OxyLite™ measure?
Our OxyLite™ oxygen monitors are intended to measure the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) in aqueous conditions, i.e., in conditions of 100% relative humidity. Oxygen partial pressure is also referred to as ‘dissolved oxygen’ and is distinct from oxygen ‘saturation’ which reflects haemoglobin oxygen saturation and is derived using spectroscopic techniques (e.g. pulse oximetry). Our OxyLite™ monitors also optionally provide a real-time readout of temperature from the sensor tip.
How do pO2 measurements differ from oxygen saturation measurements?
The fluorescence-based technique employed by our OxyLite™ monitors provides a measurement of molecular dissolved oxygen in absolute units of mmHg or kPa. In tissue monitoring applications this provides a direct readout of the balance between oxygen supply (by the blood) and oxygen consumption (by tissue/cell metabolism), i.e., a readout of oxygen availability to cells and tissue. This contrasts to blood oxygen saturation assessment, which merely describes the haemoglobin oxygenation status.
What makes the OxyLite™ unique?
A number of features make our oxygen monitors unique. Notably their unmatched ease of use, thanks to pre-calibrated sensors, built-in temperature compensation, an integrated touchscreen (Pro models), and 'plug and play' sensors featuring 'EEPROM' technology that provide a read out directly in absolute units of dissolved oxygen. Furthermore, OxyLite™ provides unmatched measurement accuracy in the typical physiological oxygen range and uniquely supports the simultaneous measurement of oxygen, temperature, and microvascular blood perfusion in tissues when used in a stack configuration with its OxyFlo™ monitor counterpart.
What are the typical applications for the OxyLite™?
Our oxygen monitors have proved popular in applications covering disciplines such as tumour research, cerebral monitoring, vital organ monitoring, transplantation surgery, peripheral vascular disease, etc., and in a variety of specialist in vitro applications including the use of hypoxia workstations (such as the HypoxyLab™), cell culture, tissue engineering, 3D tissue constructs and organ-on-chip research.
How do OxyLite™ sensors work?
Our oxygen sensors are based on fluorescence quenching and fibre-optic technology. Short pulses of LED light are transmitted along a fibre optic light guide to excite a platinum-based fluorophore bonded to the sensor tip. The resulting emission of fluorescent light, quenched by the presence of oxygen molecules is detected by the instrument. The instrument measures the lifetime of fluorescence, which is inversely proportional to the concentration of dissolved oxygen and is interpreted to provide an absolute value for oxygen in mmHg or kPa.
What are the advantages of oxygen sensing using fluorescence technology?
The fluorescence-based technology employed in our sensors and monitors offers several key advantages over devices based on polarographic electrodes. These include an absence of oxygen consumption (allowing continuous oxygen measurement, even in hypoxic conditions), factory sensor pre-calibration, long term calibration stability, and excellent sensitivity in the physiological oxygen range (0 – 200 mmHg). A number of our fibre-optic sensors also offer MRI-compatibility.
What procedures are required to calibrate OxyLite™ sensors?
None! Our oxygen sensors are shipped factory pre-calibrated thereby eliminating time consuming pre- or post-calibration procedures. The calibration information (unique per sensor) is stored on an EEPROM chip within the sensor connector and is read by the monitor within seconds following connection. Our oxygen sensors are therefore fully ‘plug and go’.
What is the measurement range of OxyLite™ sensors?
Our oxygen sensors are intended for the measurement of dissolved oxygen (pO2) in the typical physiological range. The officially supported range is 0 – 200 mmHg (0 – approx. 25 % oxygen). Maximum sensitivity is observed between 0 – 150 mmHg.
What are OxyLite™ sensors made of and how large are they?
All our oxygen microsensors are constructed from optical fibres with an outside diameter of 230 microns. Sensors are provided in a number of formats, including a minimally invasive ‘bare-fibre’ format (with and without integrated temperature sensing), in a robust needle-encased format (approx. diameter 650 microns), or in a specialist format for large area sensing in large animal models (approx. diameter 650 microns). Optical fibres are protected in PVC or silicone sleeving and are typically 2.5 m in length. See here for a full list of available oxygen sensor types.
What are the advantages of fibre-optic sensors?
Fibre-optic sensors are minimally invasive, are factory recalibrated, and offer MRI-compatibility. In addition, they are light weight and physically flexible.
Do OxyLite™ monitors support the use of multiple sensors at the same time?
Yes, the OxyLite™ Pro is a two-channel monitor, while the OxyLite™ Pro XL is a four-channel monitor capable of simultaneously driving and reading from up to 4 oxygen sensors simultaneously. This allows simultaneous sampling from several specimens/vials/plates in vitro, or the collection of physiological data from up to four separate tissue sites/organs at the same time. The latter may be useful when comparing pathological versus control tissue sites. The ability to monitor from more than one tissue site also provides unique possibilities for studying spatial tissue oxygen variability, or, conversely, can be useful in compensating for natural tissue oxygen variability by allowing multi-site averaging.
Are OxyLite™ sensors supplied sterile?
While we manufacture our oxygen sensors in a clean laboratory, with the exception of one or two sensor types, they are not supplied sterile. Oxygen sensors can however be disinfected using 70% IMS or ethanol. Note that neither our oxygen sensors, nor our oxygen monitors possess CE or FDA regulatory approval for use in human subjects.
Can OxyLite™ be used for in vitro oxygen measurements?
Yes! Our oxygen monitors and sensors are ideally suited for in vitro applications where expected oxygen levels fall within the supported range of the instrument (0 – 200 mmHg). Their small size and flexible fibre-optic construction make our oxygen sensors well-suited to applications such as hypoxic cell culture, tissue engineering, tissue slice interrogation, and/or bioreactor surveillance.
Are OxyLite™ sensors suited to measuring arterial oxygen (paO2) or venous oxygen (pvO2)?
Yes, provided oxygen concentrations fall within the supported 0 – 200 mmHg range, oxygen can be measured continuously from whole blood in situ. Extended exposure may result in clotting around the sensor tip, depending on the presence or absence of anticoagulant.
Why do you offer OxyLite™ sensors with integrated temperature?
Fluorescence-based oxygen sensing shows a small degree of sensitivity to temperature changes. For optimal accuracy, our oxygen monitors can therefore use a continuous temperature input (provided by an optionally integrated thermocouple) to automatically compensate the oxygen measurement. The temperature reading is also available as an output where temperature is a desirable parameter in its own right.
What is the supported temperature range for OxyLite™ sensors?
The supported temperature range is 0 – 50C. Effective temperature compensation of oxygen readings has been validated over the range 10 – 45C.
What is the sampling volume of OxyLite™ sensors?
The surface area of the tip of our fibre-optic oxygen sensors is estimated to be approx. 0.25 mm2. In a typical tissue this surface area may correspond to direct exposure to around 1000 cells. On the basis that several cell layers are likely to contribute to the dissolved oxygen diffusing in and out of the sensor tip, and assuming typical cell volume (size) and tissue cell densities, the volume of tissue sampled by our oxygen sensors in vivo is in the region of 0.5 – 1 mm3.
Do OxyLite™ monitors possess regulatory approval for clinical use?
No. At this time our OxyLite™ monitors and sensors are NOT intended for use in human subjects or in a patient setting.
Do you offer on-site demonstrations?
Yes, depending on geographical location we will be happy to arrange an on-site demonstration or a brief evaluation loan of our products.
“Our group has successfully applied OxyLite needle probes to measure changes in tissue oxygenation in response to drug treatment. OxyLite has allowed us to collect important mechanistic data to identify the mechanism of these drug treatments in laboratory animals. We greatly appreciate having a calibrated method like the OxyLite probe technology available that allows the collection of accurate, real-time physiological data from live animals.”
Dr Thies Schroeder, Duke University Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Durham NC, United States
“Your equipment has taken me to some weird and wonderful places and contributed to about a dozen original articles over the last decade.”
Dr. Roger Evans, Monash University, Department of Physiology, Melbourne, Australia
“I use the BF/OT/E PO2 E-series sensor to measure PaO2 in vivo in invertebrates during external environmental fluctuations in PO2. Due to the accuracy and reliability of the PO2 probes we can design experiments that provide real time measurements of PO2 during changes in environmental variables and more accurately link this to behavioural responses. During the experimental set up the staff at Oxford Optronix were always on hand to help out with any technical queries and even visited the laboratory to check out the experimental set up and ensure the probes were working. I would recommend Oxford Optronix to anyone with an interest in measuring PO2 and temperature in marine science.”
Dr Elizabeth Morgan, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, UK
|Dimensions||OxyLite: 90mm (H) x 250mm (W) x 220mm (D);
OxyLite Pro: 150mm (H) x 310mm (W) x 280mm (D)
|Weight||OxyLite: 2kg (4.5lbs);
OxyLite Pro: 4kg (9lbs)
|Operating temperature||10 – 30°C|
|Operating humidity||0 – 70% (non-condensing)|
|Power requirements||OxyLite: VAC 100-240V, 50-60Hz, 30W max;
OxyLite Pro: External PSU (100-240V / 47-63 Hz), 40W max
|Fuse rating (applies to OxyLite only)||2 x T1.6A|
|Number of sensors supported||OxyLite: 1 / OxyLite Pro: 2 / OxyLite Pro XL: 4|
|Display||OxyLite: 40 character alphanumeric OLED;
OxyLite Pro: High contrast 800 x 480 pixel LCD touch-screen
|Instrument configuration||OxyLite: Via function button at rear;
OxyLite Pro: Via touch-screen display
|LED excitation wavelength||525nm|
|Digital output||USB type B interface for data recording to LabChart software (PC only)|
|Analogue outputs||OxyLite: 2 x BNC connectors (0-5V, 2 outputs)
OxyLite Pro: 1 x 15-pin D-connector interface for data recording via BNC adapter cable (0-5V, 4 outputs)
OxyLite Pro XL: 2 x 15-pin D-connector interface for data recording via BNC adapter cable (0-5V, 8 outputs)
|Analogue data output range||0 – 5V (0 – 200mmHg / 0 – 50ºC) (default)|
|Analogue data output rate||1Hz|
|Mode of operation||Luminescence decay lifetime (pO2) / T-type thermocouple or manual user input (temperature)|
|Measurement units (displayed)||mmHg or kPa / ºC|
|Measurement range||0 – 200mmHg / 0 – 26.6kPa ; 0 – 50ºC|
|Measurement resolution||0.1mmHg / 0.1ºC|
|Measurement accuracy||Oxygen: ±0.7mmHg (0 – 7mmHg); ±10% of reading (7 – 150mmHg); ±15% of reading (150 – 200mmHg); Temp: ±0.2ºC|
|Measurement response time||< 20s (bare-fibre oxygen sensor) / < 2s (temperature)|
|Measurement sampling rate||OxyLite: 1Hz (fixed);
OxyLite Pro: 1Hz default (user definable via touch-screen)
|Measurement acquisition time||1s|
|Measurement averaging||5s, rolling boxcar|
|Display update interval (numerical)||2s|
|Validated temp compensation range||10ºC – 45ºC|
|Sensor identification||Automatic; integrated connector EEPROM|
|Sensor calibration||Factory pre-calibration (unique per sensor); valid 12 months|
|Sensor shelf-life||2 years from factory calibration (used or unused)|
|Sensor longevity||48 hours accumulated usage at default sampling rate|
Our OxyLite™ and OxyLite™ Pro oxygen monitors are employed the world over, boasting an extensive journal citation record across a wide range of research applications.
Vogiatjis J, Noe KM, Don A, Cochrane AD, Zhu MZL, Smith JA, Ngo JP, Martin A, Thrift AG, Bellomo R, Evans RG (2022). Association between changes in norepinephrine infusion rate and urinary oxygen tension after cardiac surgery. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jvca.2022.11.008
Kazmi S, Khan MA, Shamma T, Altuhami A, Ahmed HA, Mohammed Assiri A, Broering DC (2022). Targeting Interleukin-10 Restores Graft Microvascular Supply and Airway Epithelium in Rejecting Allografts. Int J Mol Sci. 23(3):1269. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031269
Wang CH, Huang CH, Tsai MS, Wang CC, Chang WT, Liu SH, Chen WJ (2022). Inhaled Carbon Dioxide Improves Neurological Outcomes by Downregulating Hippocampal Autophagy and Apoptosis in an Asphyxia-Induced Cardiac Arrest and Resuscitation Rat Model. J Am Heart Assoc. e027685. https://doi.org/10.1161/jaha.122.027685
Malik H, Wolff MD, Teskey GC, Mychasiuk R (2022). Electrographic seizures and brain hyperoxia may be key etiological factors for postconcussive deficits. J Neurophysiol. 128(3):727-737. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00533.2021
Konieczny P, Xing Y, Sidhu I, Subudhi I, Mansfield KP, Hsieh B, Biancur DE, Larsen SB, Cammer M, Li D, Landén NX, Loomis C, Heguy A, Tikhonova AN, Tsirigos A, Naik S (2022). Interleukin-17 governs hypoxic adaptation of injured epithelium. Science 377 (6602). https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abg9302
A wide selection of oxygen sensors is available to suit both physiological (in vivo) monitoring and a variety of in vitro applications. Sensors featuring integrated thermocouples support automatic temperature-compensation of oxygen readings. Oxygen sensors are supplied in sealed Tyvek® pouches.
Oxygen-only bare-fibre sensor
Oxygen/Temperature bare-fibre sensor
Oxygen-only needle-encased sensor
Oxygen-only large area sensor (1 mm²)
Oxygen/Temperature large area sensor (1 mm²)
Oxygen-only large area sensor (8 mm²)
Oxygen/Temperature large area sensor (8 mm²)
Implantable bare-fibre type oxygen sensor
Implantable large area type oxygen sensor (1 mm²)
Implantable large area type oxygen sensor (8 mm²)
Intended use statement:
OxyLite™ and OxyLite™ Pro are intended for laboratory, industrial and research use only.
2 or 4‑channel laser Doppler microvascular blood flow monitors with touch screenOxyFlo™ Pro