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Oxygen is an essential molecule in maintaining healthy cellular homeostasis and metabolism and is fundamental in both health and disease in eukaryotic organisms. The ability for the mitochondria to generate ATP via oxidative phosphorylation is totally dependent on oxygen. As oxygen is a key molecule, the ability to study and quantify its usage is a powerful tool to investigate the dynamic relationship between cellular bioenergetics and phenotype. The capability to accurately measure oxygen within a cell population has made great advances in the last 30 years, ranging from the traditional electrodes to modern intracellular oxygen sensing probes using time-resolved fluorescence plate readers. In this review we discuss the advances made in the field of cellular oxygen sensing, with emphasis on medium to high throughput cell-based assays.

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