A catheter-type optical oxygen sensor based on phosphorescence lifetime was developed for medical and animal experimental use. Since the sensor probe should have biocompatibility and high oxygen permeability in vivo, we focused attention on acceptable polymer materials for contact lenses as the substrates of probes. Pd-porphyrin was doped in silicone-based polymer, and was fixed at the edge of an optical fiber inserted in a catheter tube. The shape of the probe was 600 μm in diameter and 100 μm in thickness, and the probe had high oxygen permeability of Dk value 455. In accuracy evaluation, there found an excellent correlation between the pO2 values measured through phosphorescence lifetime using the oxygen sensors and those measured as the calibrating data using oxygen electrodes. The response time required to achieve 90% from reversible default value to be from 150 to 0 mmHg, and from 0 to 150 mmHg was 15.43 and 7.52 s, respectively. In addition, other properties such as temperature and pH dependency, response, and durability of our optical oxygen sensor were investigated. In animal experiments, the catheter-type oxygen sensor was inserted via the femoral artery of a rat, and arterial oxygen pressure was monitored under asphyxiation. The sensor was valid in the range of oxygen concentration sufficient for biometry, and expected to be integrated with an indwelling needle.
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