Oroboros 2012 Abstract Bioblast

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Oroboros (2012) 20 Years High-Resolution Respirometry – Oroboros Instruments and WGT. Mitochondr Physiol Network 17.12.

Link: MiPNet17.12 Bioblast 2012 - Open Access

Oroboros (2012)

Event: Bioblast 2012

The production of the Oroboros O2k was preceeded by instrumental developments [1,2] including the Twin-Flow Microrespirometer [3] for simultaneous applications with microcalorimetry in an open-flow system (Fig. 1). This Twin-Flow Microrespirometer was distributed on a small scale, but particularly applied in international cooperations (e.g. [4]).

Keywords: High-resolution respirometry, Gentle Science, Oroboros O2k

O2k-Network Lab: AT Innsbruck Oroboros

A brief history

1989: The prototype of the Oxygraph was developed in the frame of a FWF Project "Thermodynamics and respiratory control in aerobic and anoxic mitochondria" (E. Gnaiger, principal investigator).

1992: The first series of the Oroboros O2k was completed (initially "Cyclobios Oxygraph" with Paar; Graz).

1994: Oroboros® was founded by Erich Gnaiger, taking over the world-wide distribution of the Oxygraph. At that time, Prof. R. Margreiter initiated with the assistance of Erich Gnaiger the D. Swarovski Research Laboratory at the Department of Transplant Surgery. The Oxygraph provided the fundamental instrument for an extensive series of applications in hypoxia and cold storage ischemia-reperfusion injury [5-8]. These studies established a first level of bioenergetic protocols for biomedical applications of high-resolution respirometry [9-12]. With completion of the development of DatLab 2 Dr. Michael Reck), the term "high-resolution respirometry" [HRR] was coined and a new standard in software-support was set. About 60 Oxygraphs were produced until 1998 and distributed in 17 countries.

2000: Oroboros Instruments Corp.

2001: Philipp Gradl (WGT Elektronik; Kolsass) became the competent partner for development and production of the next generation Oroboros O2k. Lukas Gradl (ssn - software security networks; Innsbruck) took over the software development, generating the refined Windows(TM) version of DatLab 3. All developments and production of the O2k take place within 20 km of Innsbruck.

August 2003: The first of 100 instruments of Series B were completed, and applied in a series of workshops on high-resolution respirometry. The O2k Series B provided the basis for integration of the Titration-Injection microPump (TIP2k) and modular expansion to the O2k-MultiSensor MiPNetAnalyzer.

2004: 10 years Oroboros Instruments was celebrated and a major development was completed to improve the design of the polarographic oxygen sensor (OroboPOS), which is available since November 2004. Developments of the O2k-MultiSensor MiPNetAnalyzer benefit from user innovation. Based on the expertise and cooperation within MiPNet, various electrochemical sensors (NO, pH, TPP+, Ca2+, K+) and optical sensors (light scattering, fluorescence probes), can be integrated into the O2k and supported by the multichannel-software DatLab 4 (Windows™). Since December 2004, DatLab 4 and the O2k-MultiSensor MiPNetAnalyzer are available, including the Titration-Injection microPump TIP2k and input channels for high-power amplification of ion-selective electrodes.

June 2006: The O2k #100 was sold (Series B). Since January 2007, the Oroboros Instruments Corporation (GmbH) replaced the previous private company in the world-wide distribution and service of the Oroboros O2k and accessories.

2009: Oroboros Instruments celebrated the 50th International Course on High-Resolution Respirometry and the 1st O2k-MultiSensor Workshop (April 2009, Schröcken).

2010: The Bioblast Wiki was launched: Together with MitoPedia, OroboPedia was started by Oroboros Instruments on 2010-07-12 to provide short definitions of terms, abbreviations and symbols frequently used in the context of high-resolution respirometry and mitochondrial physiology. Annual sales increased to 60 per year in 2010 and 2011. The innovative collaboration between the Medical University of Innsbruck (D. Swarovski Research Laboratory), Oroboros Instruments and WGT-Elektronik was recognized by granting the Cluster Life Sciences Award 2010 for the O2k, at which occasion the grant application was initiated for the K-Regio project MitoCom Tyrol.

2011: Production of O2k-Series E and launch of K-Regio project MitoCom on May 01.

January 2012: Oroboros startet with the new concept of the O2k-Core. The first O2k-Fluorescence Workshop was held in March 2012. Up to date 430 instruments of the new O2k-generation were sold to 37 countries. In April 2012, the O2k-Team received the Houska Award (120,000 €; Vienna, B&C).

Affiliations and author contributions

Oroboros Instruments, Innsbruck, Austria - www.oroboros.at

Contribution to K-Regio Project MitoCom Tyrol

Figure 1

Figure 1: The Twin-Flow principle: The twin-flow microrespirometer and simultaneous calorimetry [3].


  1. Gnaiger E, Gluth G, Wieser W (1978) pH fluctuation in an intertidal beach in Bermuda. Limnol Oceanogr 23: 851-857.
  2. Gnaiger E (1980) Energetics of invertebrate anoxibiosis: direct calorimetry in aquatic oligochaetes. FEBS Lett 112: 239-242.
  3. Gnaiger E (1983) The twin-flow microrespirometer and simultaneous calorimetry. In: Polarographic Oxygen Sensors. Aquatic and Physiological Applications. Gnaiger E, Forstner H (eds), Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: 134-166.
  4. Hand SC, Gnaiger E (1988) Anaerobic dormancy quantified in Artemia embryos: A calorimetric test of the control mechanism. Science 239: 1425-1427.
  5. Gnaiger E, Steinlechner-Maran R, Méndez G, Eberl T, Margreiter R (1995) Control of mitochondrial and cellular respiration by oxygen. J Bioenerg Biomembr 27: 583-596.
  6. Gnaiger E (2001) Bioenergetics at low oxygen: dependence of respiration and phosphorylation on oxygen and adenosine diphosphate supply. Respir Physiol 128: 277-297.
  7. Gnaiger E, Méndez G, Hand SC (2000) High phosphorylation efficiency and depression of uncoupled respiration in mitochondria under hypoxia. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97: 11080-11085.
  8. Steinlechner-Maran R, Eberl T, Kunc M, Margreiter R, Gnaiger E (1996) Oxygen dependence of respiration in coupled and uncoupled endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 271: C2053-C2061.
  9. Lemieux H, Semsroth S, Antretter H, Hoefer D, Gnaiger E (2011) Mitochondrial respiratory control and early defects of oxidative phosphorylation in the failing human heart. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 43: 1729–1738.
  10. Pesta D, Hoppel F, Macek C, Messner H, Faulhaber M, Kobel C, Parson W, Burtscher M, Schocke M, Gnaiger E (2011) Similar qualitative and quantitative changes of mitochondrial respiration following strength and endurance training in normoxia and hypoxia in sedentary humans. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 301: R1078–R1087.
  11. Votion DM, Gnaiger E, Lemieux H, Mouithys-Mickalad A, Serteyn D (2012) Physical fitness and mitochondrial respiratory capacity in horse skeletal muscle. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34890.
  12. Gnaiger E (2012) Mitochondrial Pathways and Respiratory Control. An Introduction to OXPHOS Analysis. 3rd ed. Mitochondr Physiol Network 17.18. Oroboros MiPNet Publications, Innsbruck: 64 pp.



HRR: Oxygraph-2k