LED-CT scan for pH distribution on a cross-section of cell culture medium

Nobuya Higashino, Toshio Takayama*, Hiroaki Ito, Mitsuhiro Horade, Yasutaka Yamaguchi, Chia-Hung Tsai, Makoto Kaneko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


In cell culture, the pH of the culture medium is one of the most important conditions. However, the culture medium may have non-uniform pH distribution due to activities of cells and changes in the environment. Although it is possible to measure the pH distribution with an existing pH meter using distributed electrodes, the method involves direct contact with the medium and would greatly increase the risk of contamination. Here in this paper, we propose a computed tomography (CT) scan for measuring pH distribution using the color change of phenol red with a light-emitting diode (LED) light source. Using the principle of CT scan, we can measure pH distribution without contacting culture medium, and thus, decrease the risk of contamination. We have developed the device with a LED, an array of photo receivers and a rotation mechanism. The system is firstly calibrated with different shapes of wooden objects that do not pass light, we succeeded in obtaining their 3D topographies. The system was also used for measuring a culture medium with two different pH values, it was possible to obtain a pH distribution that clearly shows the boundary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number191
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Jan 2018


  • Cell culture
  • Non-contact measurement
  • PH measurement

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    Higashino, N., Takayama, T., Ito, H., Horade, M., Yamaguchi, Y., Tsai, C-H., & Kaneko, M. (2018). LED-CT scan for pH distribution on a cross-section of cell culture medium. Sensors (Switzerland), 18(1), [191]. https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010191