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06:51 May 2, 2008
English to Italian translations [PRO] Medical - Medical: Instruments
English term or phrase:chamber
Among other potential applications, this method could be used to improve the efficacy of a new procedure for treating Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes that has demonstrated the ability to free diabetics from insulin injections for several years. It works by transplanting insulin-producing cells into the pancreas of diabetics to replace the cells that the disease has disabled or destroyed.
The new insulin detection method was developed by a team of Vanderbilt researchers headed by Associate Professor of Chemistry David Cliffel and is reported in the February 18 issue of the journal Analytica Chimica Acta.
To gain this capability, the researchers developed a new electrode for a device called a microphysiometer. The microphysiometer assesses the condition of living cells by submerging them in a saline solution, confining them in a very small chamber and then measuring variations in their metabolism. The volume of the chamber is only three microliters - about 1/20th the size of an ordinary raindrop - allowing the electrode to detect the minute amounts of insulin produced by special pancreatic cells called Islets of Langerhans.
The new electrode is built from multiwalled carbon nanotubes, which are like several flat sheets of carbon atoms stacked and rolled into very small tubes. Provided by William Hofmeister at the University of Tennessee Space Institute, the nanotubes are electrically conductive and the concentration of insulin in the chamber can be directly related to the current at the electrode and the nanotubes operate reliably at pH levels characteristic of living cells.