Handa Fellow and Tutor in Biomedical Sciences, Professor Pawel Swietach, and his team of DPAG scientists have developed single-cell oxygen saturation imaging to study oxygen handling by red blood cells.

New physiological techniques that measure the blood's oxygen saturation are particularly important in light of the current pandemic, as COVID-19 patients present an abnormally low concentration of oxygen in the blood.

The team has designed a method to quantify gas exchange in individual RBCs. Applying this method to various blood disorders has highlighted the barriers to efficient gas exchange. The results identify the adaptations that allow healthy RBCs to exchange gases quickly, and explain how disease-related changes may impair oxygen transport.

The full story can be read on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics website.  The first author of the paper (accessed via the department link), Sarah Richardson, is a former Medical student of the College.