Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.10.035
Title (Primary) What does calorimetry and thermodynamics of living cells tell us?
Author Maskow, T. ORCID logo ; Paufler, S.
Source Titel Methods
Year 2015
Department UMB
Volume 76
Page From 3
Page To 10
Language englisch
Keywords Calorimetry; Biothermodynamic; Bioprocess control; Enthalpy balances; Oxycaloric equivalent; Law of Hess
UFZ wide themes RU4;

This article presents and compares several thermodynamic methods for the quantitative interpretation of data from calorimetric measurements. Heat generation and absorption are universal features of microbial growth and product formation as well as of cell cultures from animals, plants and insects. The heat production rate reflects metabolic changes in real time and is measurable on-line. The detection limit of commercially available calorimetric instruments can be low enough to measure the heat of 100,000 aerobically growing bacteria or of 100 myocardial cells. Heat can be monitored in reaction vessels ranging from a few nanoliters up to many cubic meters. Most important the heat flux measurement does not interfere with the biological process under investigation. The practical advantages of calorimetry include the waiver of labeling and reactants. It is further possible to assemble the thermal transducer in a protected way that reduces aging and thereby signal drifts. Calorimetry works with optically opaque solutions.

All of these advantages make calorimetry an interesting method for many applications in medicine, environmental sciences, ecology, biochemistry and biotechnology, just to mention a few. However, in many cases the heat signal is merely used to monitor biological processes but only rarely to quantitatively interpret the data. Therefore, a significant proportion of the information potential of calorimetry remains unutilized. To fill this information gap and to motivate the reader using the full information potential of calorimetry, various methods for quantitative data interpretations are presented, evaluated and compared with each other. Possible errors of interpretation and limitations of quantitative data analysis are also discussed.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Maskow, T., Paufler, S. (2015):
What does calorimetry and thermodynamics of living cells tell us?
Methods 76 , 3 - 10 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.10.035