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Frequently asked questions in hypoxia research

Authors Wenger R, Kurtcuoglu V, Scholz C, Marti H, Hoogewijs D

Received 11 July 2015

Accepted for publication 24 July 2015

Published 18 September 2015 Volume 2015:3 Pages 35—43

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HP.S92198

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Thomas Kietzmann

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Doerthe Katschinski


Roland H Wenger,1,2 Vartan Kurtcuoglu,1,2 Carsten C Scholz,1,2 Hugo H Marti,3 David Hoogewijs1,2,4

1Institute of Physiology and Zurich Center for Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, 2National Center of Competence in Research “Kidney.CH”, Zurich, Switzerland; 3Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, 4Institute of Physiology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Abstract: “What is the O2 concentration in a normoxic cell culture incubator?” This and other frequently asked questions in hypoxia research will be answered in this review. Our intention is to give a simple introduction to the physics of gases that would be helpful for newcomers to the field of hypoxia research. We will provide background knowledge about questions often asked, but without straightforward answers. What is O2 concentration, and what is O2 partial pressure? What is normoxia, and what is hypoxia? How much O2 is experienced by a cell residing in a culture dish in vitro vs in a tissue in vivo? By the way, the O2 concentration in a normoxic incubator is 18.6%, rather than 20.9% or 20%, as commonly stated in research publications. And this is strictly only valid for incubators at sea level.

Keywords: gas laws, hypoxia-inducible factor, Krogh tissue cylinder, oxygen diffusion, partial pressure, tissue oxygen levels

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