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System for measuring oxygen, carbon dioxide and temperature in tissues.

System for measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide in tissues



Hemorrhage is responsible for more than 35% of pre-hospital deaths and greater than 40% of deaths within the first 24 hours of arrival to a trauma facility. These numbers can reach 90% in the military environment. Traditional vital sign measurements, systolic blood pressure and oxygen saturation, fail to provide sufficient advanced warning of hemorrhage until after the onset of cardiovascular collapse. Clearly earlier recognition of hemorrhage will be beneficial in allowing intervention before the onset of circulatory shock.



  • Reduction in peripheral tissue oxygenation and increased carbon dioxide is an indicator of reduced central blood volume in the presence of stable vital signs.
  • Oxyphor-based micro-sensors were designed:
    • Based on Pd-tetrabenzoporphyrin modified with generation-3 polyarylglycine dendrons and coated with a layer of polyethylene glycol.
    • Teflon AF chambers sequester the Oxyphor solution from contact with the body.
    • Provides for measurement of oxygen pressure by phosphorescence quenching.
  • The sensor’s in vitro measurement response time is less than one minute, readings are stable for greater than 16 hours with less than 2% change, and has a signal to noise ratio of ~40, which declines over 16 hours to ~20.
  • In vivo experiments in peripheral leg muscle of pigs:
    • Insertion via 21 gauge needle
    • Signal was stable and without changes in signal-to-noise ratio for up to 6 hours.


  • Robust, quickly inserted and minimally invasive device for advanced warning of hemorrhage.
  • Data can be transmitted to a central computer system via a wireless transmitter.
  • Allows for continued monitoring of trauma patients.
  • Calibration is absolute; no on site calibration is required.
  • Provides rapid deployment and easy replacement of sensors.
  • Sufficiently rapid response time for measuring physiological changes in oxygen pressure.
  • Long lifetime and fidelity of measurement and ease of replacement results in little required maintenance.
  • Sensors can be stored without affecting sensitivity.

Stage of Development: 

In vivo proof-of-concept data obtained



David Wilson, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics


Reference Media: 

AdvExp Med Biol. 2012;737:221-7. 


Intellectual Property: 

Patents pending: 12/087,391 and 12/942,696


Desired Partnerships:  

  • Collaborator
  • Licensing partner

Docket # S4115 and V5115

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Jessica Casciano
Licensing Officer, PSOM Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
(215) 573-5414
David Wilson