The Oxygen Micro-Electrode

  • I. A. Silver
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 37 A)


The reduction of oxygen in a watery solution at a noble metal surface by a low voltage was first observed by Danneel in Nernst’s laboratory in 1897. The application of this technique for biological purposes was instigated by Blinks and Skow (1938) in suspensions of plant cells and was developed for use in mammalian tissues by Davies and Brink (1942). These latter authors made a variety of electrodes which included small elec- trodes of 25 gm platinum wire enclosed in glass insulation which protruded a short distance beyond the end of the platinum. They called these ‘recessed’ micro-electrodes and successfully used them for measuring oxygen gradients on the surface of the brain of the cat. This type of electrode corresponded in its behaviour to the law of classical linear diffusion during its initial polarisation and was able to take its oxygen from very small regions. The disadvantage of this system was that the recess of the electrode was relatively long and readings could only be made at intervals of many minutes. However the readings that were obtained had real meaning and indicated that


Pyridine Nucleotide Foreign Body Response Biological Purpose Noble Metal Surface Oxygen Microelectrode 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. A. Silver
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of BristolEngland

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