SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 Research

Sincere thanks to the international community of scientists working to advance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. We appreciate your contribution in the global fight toward developing treatments that will save lives everywhere.

To increase translatability of in vitro  COVID research, researchers must correct the discrepancy between oxygen conditions routinely provided for cell-based assays (room air) and O2 levels actually measured within the human body. In healthy pulmonary alveoli, oxygen levels are reported at around 12% O2. In pulmonary blood, oxygen tensions exist over the range: 5-12% O2. In pathologic situations such as COVID, where air exchange is compromised due to pneumonia or ARDS, tissue oxygen levels will be far lower. Both physiologic oxygen (physioxia) and pathophysiologic hypoxia occur at levels far below those assessed for room air (21% O2).    

Why cell culture O2 levels impact COVID data relevance:

To complement cell-based research, scientists use animal models to gain further insight. In vivo hypoxic (or hyperoxic) exposures help provide understanding about coronavirus disease progression or to simulate ventilator-induced injury. Therapeutic models with nitric oxide and carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) are useful for exploring potential COVID-19 treatment options.

Better physiologic simulation always results in better data.