Variable radio frequency proton-electron double-resonance imaging: Application to pH mapping of aqueous samples

Olga V. Efimova, Ziqi Sun, Sergey Petryakov, Eric Kesselring, George L. Caia, David Johnson, Jay L. Zweier, Valery V. Khramtsov, Alexandre Samouilov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Proton-electron double-resonance imaging (PEDRI) offers rapid image data collection and high resolution for spatial distribution of paramagnetic probes. Recently we developed the concept of variable field (VF) PEDRI which enables extracting a functional map from a limited number of images acquired at pre-selected EPR excitation fields using specific paramagnetic probes (Khramtsov et al., J. Magn. Reson. 202 (2010) 267-273). In this work, we propose and evaluate a new modality of PEDRI-based functional imaging with enhanced temporal resolution which we term variable radio frequency (VRF) PEDRI. The approach allows for functional mapping (e.g., pH mapping) using specifically designed paramagnetic probes with high quality spatial resolution and short acquisition times. This approach uses a stationary magnetic field but different EPR RFs. The ratio of Overhauser enhancements measured at each pixel at two different excitation frequencies corresponding to the resonances of protonated and deprotonated forms of a pH-sensitive nitroxide is converted to a pH map using a corresponding calibration curve. Elimination of field cycling decreased the acquisition time by exclusion periods of ramping and stabilization of the magnetic field. Improved magnetic field homogeneity and stability allowed for the fast MRI acquisition modalities such as fast spin echo. In total, about 30-fold decrease in EPR irradiation time was achieved for VRF PEDRI (2.4 s) compared with VF PEDRI (70 s). This is particularly important for in vivo applications enabling one to overcome the limiting stability of paramagnetic probes and sample overheating by reducing RF power deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Free radicals
  • Functional proton MRI
  • pH
  • Variable radio frequency PEDRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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