MicroRespirometer is based on a patented technology that allows it to ‘differentiate” between the sample evolved CO2 and the pre-existing CO2 in the system. Because of this capability, a MicroRespirometer can sensitively quantify minute amount of sample evolved CO2, with accuracy and precision, regardless of the level of the pre-existing CO2 in the system. The MicroRespirometer technology, therefore, is totally different from the systems that monitor headspace CO2 concentrations or the systems that exhaustively absorb the CO2. (The systems that exhaustively absorb CO2 would never be a true real-time method because they can never finish absorbing all the evolved CO2 in the system.)
How does a MicroRespirometer work? First, it establishes a steady-state CO2 absorption/evolution between the reagent and the sample (no physical contact between the two) within a 10-minute pre-assay shaking period. After the steady state is established, the CO2 absorption rate of the reagent equals the CO2evolution rate of the sample in the system. This is equivalent to the situation that the stream of the evolved CO2 is instantaneously and quantitatively “flowing into” (absorbed by) the reagent. The MicroRespirometer then determines the CO2 absorption rate of the reagent as the respiration rate of the sample.