• Sad Baikal crustaceans helped to unravel the mechanisms of stress

  • Scientists from the Institute of biology at Irkutsk state University on the example of endemic crustaceans-amphipods of lake Baikal demonstrated the ability to "scan" the physiological state of a living organism under stressful conditions. The results of the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

    In their paper, the researchers first used for this purpose, molecular optical sensors that are enclosed in semipermeable microcapsules in advance and introduced into the body. These sensors are based on the phenomenon of fluorescence — luminescence of certain compounds when illuminated with light of a specific wavelength.

    There are sensors whose specific spectrum of light depends on the specific physiological parameters of the body, for example, pH or glucose. Mikrokapsulirovanie is also necessary in order to focus the sensor at one point and thereby minimize its possible toxicity for the organism and strengthen the fluorescence signal.

    "Encapsulated fluorescent sensors of submicron dimensions, is sensitive to pH (acid-alkaline balance) was introduced into the Central vessel of the circulatory system of Amphipoda and "scanned" in live crayfish using a special fluorescent microscope. This technology made it possible to conduct continuous measurement of changes in pH in the blood system of a living body under stress", — said "the Tape.ru" one of the authors of the article, the Director of the Institute Professor Maxim Timofeev.

    Scientists in the laboratory have shown that the pH inside of the shrimp is sensitive to changes of the gas regime in the environment, in particular, the decrease in oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide, which is often observed when disruption of the functioning of aquatic ecosystems (including human-induced).

    The results of the study show that microencapsulated optical sensors can now be used in works related to environmental monitoring of water bodies. This is especially true in light of the current ecological crisis in the lake. Now in the separate bays of the lake there is a violation of the typical ecosystems that can be associated with pollution of the coast due to the influx of tourists and requires the development and introduction of new highly effective methods of environmental monitoring.


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