The paper describes technological advances in high-field (7 T) transceiver-phased arrays developed for magnetic resonance imaging of the human brain. The first part of this work describes an 8-element inductively decoupled split elliptical transceiver-phased array with selectable geometry, which provides an easy and efficient way of compensating for changes in mutual inductive coupling associated with difference in loading due to variability in head shape and size. The second part of the work describes a double-row 16-element (2 × 8) transceiver array to extend the homogeneous transmit B1 profile in the longitudinal direction. Multiplexing eight transmit channels between the two rows of the array provides homogeneous excitation over the entire volume. The final section describes design and construction of a double-tuned 31P/1H 16-element (8 at each frequency) array. The array improves transmission efficiency and B1 homogeneity at 1H frequency in comparison with 31P/1H quadrature transverse electromagnetic volume coil. For 31P studies, the array also improves transmission efficiency (38%), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for central brain locations (20%) and provides substantially greater SNR (up to 400%) for peripheral locations.
We have studied the magnetic cluster compound Nb6F15 which has an odd number of 15 valence electrons per (Nb6F12)3+ cluster core, as a function of temperature using nuclear magnetic resonance, magnetic susceptibility, electron magnetic resonance and neutron powder diffraction. Nuclear magnetic resonance of the 19F nuclei shows two lines corresponding to the apical Fa−a nucleus, and to the inner Fi nuclei. The temperature dependence of the signal from the Fi nuclei reveals an antiferromagnetic ordering at T < 5 K, with a hyperfine field of ~2 mT. Magnetic susceptibility exhibits a Curie–Weiss behavior with TN ~5 K, and μeff ~1.57 μB close to the expected theoretical value for one unpaired electron (1.73 μB). Electron magnetic resonance linewidth shows a transition at 5 K. Upon cooling from 10 to 1.4 K, the neutron diffraction shows a decrease in the intensity of the low-angle diffuse scattering below Q ~0.27 Å−1. This decrease is consistent with emergence of magnetic order of large magnetic objects (clusters). This study shows that Nb6F15 is paramagnetic at RT and undergoes a transition to antiferromagnetic order at 5 K. This unique antiferromagnetic ordering results from the interaction between magnetic spins delocalized over each entire (Nb6F12i)3+ cluster core, rather than the common magnetic ordering.
Amide proton transfer (APT) imaging is a new molecular MRI technique that gives contrast at the cellular protein level. To better understand the origin of the APT signal in tissue, fresh and cooked hen eggs (n = 4) were imaged at 4.7 Tesla. The APT effect was quantified using the asymmetry in the magnetization transfer ratio (MTRasym) at the composite amide proton resonance frequency (3.5 ppm from the water resonance). The measured APT signals were significantly higher in the fresh egg white (20.1% ± 0.9%) than in the fresh egg yolk (−1.4% ± 1.1%; P < 0.001), and in the cooked egg white (2.8% ± 0.7%; P < 0.001), all of which have similar absolute protein contents. The data support the notion that the APT effect observed in vivo is associated with mobile proteins in tissue, such as those in the cytoplasm.
APT; CEST; magnetization transfer; egg white; protein
A stand-alone, self-contained and transportable system for the polarization of 129Xe by spin exchange optical pumping with Rb is described. This mobile polarizer may be operated in batch or continuous flow modes with medium amounts of hyperpolarized 129Xe for spectroscopic or small animal applications. A key element is an online nuclear magnetic resonance module which facilitates continuous monitoring of polarization generation in the pumping cell as well as the calculation of the absolute 129Xe polarization. The performance of the polarizer with respect to the crucial parameters temperature, xenon and nitrogen partial pressures, and the total gas flow is discussed. In batch mode the highest 129Xe polarization of PXe = 40 % was achieved using 0.1 mbar xenon partial pressure. For a xenon flow of 6.5 and 26 mln/min, PXe = 25 % and PXe = 13 % were reached, respectively. The mobile polarizer may be a practical and efficient means to make the applicability of hyperpolarized 129Xe more widespread.
We present an alternate simplified concept to irradiate a nuclear magnetic resonance sample with terahertz (THz) radiation for dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) experiments using the TE01 circular waveguide mode for transmission of the THz power and the illumination of the DNP sample by either the TE01 or TE11 mode. Using finite element method and 3D electromagnetic simulations we demonstrate that the average value of the transverse magnetic field induced by the THz radiation and responsible for the DNP effect using the TE11 or the TE01 mode are comparable to that generated by the HE11 mode and a corrugated waveguide. The choice of the TE11/TE01 mode allows the use of a smooth-walled, oversized waveguide that is easier to fabricate and less expensive than a corrugated waveguide required for transmission of the HE11 mode. Also, the choice of the TE01 mode can lead to a simplification of gyrotron oscillators that operate in the TE0n mode, by employing an on-axis rippled-wall mode converter to convert the TE0n mode into the TE01 mode either inside or outside of the gyrotron tube. These novel concepts will lead to a significant simplification of the gyrotron, the transmission line and the THz coupler, which are the three main components of a DNP system.
The design and construction of a high-performance, low-cost, and easy to assemble adiabatic extension set for homebuilt and commercial spectrometers is described. Described apparatus set was designed for the fast adiabatic passage generation and is based on direct digital synthesizer DDS. This solution gives generator high signal to noise ratio, phase stability even during frequency change which is only possible in expansive commercial high-end hardware. Critical synchronization and timing issues are considered and solutions are discussed. Different experimental conditions and techniques for the measurements are briefly discussed. The proposed system is very flexible and might be used for the measurement of low-frequency nuclear magnetic resonance.
Exponential apparent diffusion coefficient (EADC) is an indicator of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and reflects the pathological changes of tissues quantitatively. However, no study has been investigated in the space-occupying kidney disease using EADC values. This study aims to evaluate the diagnostic role of EADC values at a high magnetic field strength (3.0 T) in kidney neoplastic lesions, compared with that of the ADC values. Ninety patients with suspected renal tumors (including 101 suspected renal lesions) and 20 healthy volunteers were performed MRI scanning. Diffusion-weighted imaging was performed with a single-shot spin-echo echo-planar imaging (SE-EPI) sequence at a diffusion gradient of b = 500 s/mm2. We found renal cell carcinoma (RCC) can be distinguished from angiomyolipoma, and clear cell carcinoma can be distinguished from non-clear cell carcinoma by EADC value. There was significant difference in overall EADC values between renal cell carcinoma (0.150 ± 0.059) and angiomyolipoma (0.270 ± 0.108) when b value was 500 s/mm2. When receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was higher than 0.192, the sensitivity and specificity of EADC value of renal cell carcinoma were 84.6 and 81.1 %, respectively. In conclusion, EADC map shows the internal structure of the kidney tumor more intuitively than the ADC map dose, and is also in line with the observation habits of the clinicians. EADC can be used as an effective imaging method for tumor diagnosis.
Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) is investigated in the liquid state using a model system of Frémy’s salt dissolved in water. Nuclear magnetic resonance signal enhancements at 0.34 and 3.4 T of the bulk water protons are recorded as a function of the irradiation time and the polarizer concentration. The build-up rates are consistent with the T1n of the observed water protons at room temperature (for 9 GHz/0.34 T) and for about 50 ± 10 °C at 94 GHz/3.4 T. At 94 GHz/3.4 T, we observe in our setup a maximal enhancement of −50 at 25 mM polarizer concentration. The use of Frémy’s salt allows the determination of the saturation factors at 94 GHz by pulsed ELDOR experiments. The results are well consistent with the Overhauser DNP mechanism and indicate that higher enhancements at this intermediate frequency require higher sample temperatures.
The application of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in pharmacy of melanin complexes with netilmicin and Cu(II) was presented. The continuous microwave saturation of EPR spectra of DOPA–melanin and the complexes was performed. EPR spectra were measured on an X-band (9.3 GHz) spectrometer at temperatures in the range of 105–300 K. Paramagnetic copper ions decrease the intensity of the EPR lines of melanin’s free radicals. It was found that fast spin–lattice relaxation characterizes DOPA–melanin–Cu(II) complexes. Slow spin–lattice relaxation processes exist in melanin’s paramagnetic centers of DOPA–melanin and DOPA–melanin–netilmicin, [DOPA–melanin–netilmicin]–Cu(II), [DOPA–melanin–Cu(II)]–netilmicin complexes. Spin–lattice relaxation processes are faster at higher temperatures. The homogeneous broadening of EPR lines for melanin complexes was observed. The practical consequences of differences between paramagnetic properties of melanin complexes with netilmicin and the complexes with Cu(II) were discussed.
For reliable detection of explosives, a combination of methods integrated within a single measurement platform may increase detection performance. However, the efficient field testing of such measurement platforms requires the use of inexplosive simulants that are detectable by a wide range of methods. Physical parameters such as simulant density, elemental composition and crystalline structure must closely match those of the target explosive. The highly discriminating bulk detection characteristics of nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR) especially constrain simulant design. This paper describes the development of an inexplosive RDX simulant suited to a wide range of measurement methods, including NQR. Measurements are presented that confirm an RDX NQR response from the simulant. The potential use of the simulant for field testing a prototype handheld NQR-based RDX detector is analyzed. Only modest changes in prototype operation during field testing would be required to account for the use of simulant rather than real explosive.
Rapid freeze-quench (RFQ) trapping of short-lived reaction intermediates for spectroscopic study plays an important role in the characterization of biological reactions. Recently there has been considerable effort to achieve submillisecond reaction deadtimes. We present here a new, robust, high-velocity microfluidic mixer that enables such rapid freeze-quenching. It is a based on the mixing method of two impinging jets commonly used in reaction injection molding (RIM) of plastics. This method achieves efficient mixing by inducing chaotic flow at relatively low Reynolds numbers (Re =140). We present the first mathematical simulation and microscopic visualization of mixing in such RFQ micromixers, the results of which show that the impinging solutions efficiently mix within the mixing chamber. These tests, along with a practical demonstration in a RFQ setup that involves copper wheels, show this new mixer can in practice provide reaction deadtimes as low as 100 microseconds.
MtsslWizard is a computer program, which operates as a plugin for the PyMOL molecular graphics system. MtsslWizard estimates distances between spin labels on proteins quickly with user-configurable options through a simple graphical interface. In default mode, the program searches for ensembles of possible MTSSL conformations that do not clash with a static model of the protein. Once conformations are assigned, distance distributions between two or more ensembles are calculated, displayed, and can be exported to other software. The program’s use is evaluated in a number of challenging test cases and its strengths and weaknesses evaluated. The benefits of the program are its accuracy and simplicity.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00723-012-0314-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Electron paramagnetic resonance studies at multiple frequencies (MF EPR) can provide detailed electronic structure descriptions of unpaired electrons in organic radicals, inorganic complexes, and metalloenzymes. Analysis of these properties aids in the assignment of the chemical environment surrounding the paramagnet and provides mechanistic insight into the chemical reactions in which these systems take part. Herein, we present results from pulsed EPR studies performed at three different frequencies (9, 31, and 130 GHz) on [Mn(II)(H2O)6]2+, Mn(II) adducts with the nucleotides ATP and GMP, and the Mn(II)-bound form of the hammerhead ribozyme (MnHH). Through line shape analysis and interpretation of the zero-field splitting values derived from successful simulations of the corresponding continuous-wave and field-swept echo-detected spectra, these data are used to exemplify the ability of the MF EPR approach in distinguishing the nature of the first ligand sphere. A survey of recent results from pulsed EPR, as well as pulsed electron-nuclear double resonance and electron spin echo envelope modulation spectroscopic studies applied to Mn(II)-dependent systems, is also presented.
The X- and W-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies were employed to investigate a series of imidazolidine nitroxide radicals with different number of ethyl and methyl substituents at positions 2 and 5 of a heterocycle in liquid and frozen solutions. The influence of the substituents on the line shape and width was studied experimentally and analyzed using quantum chemical calculations. Each pair of the geminal ethyl groups in the positions 2 or 5 of the imidazolidine ring was found to produce an additional hyperfine splitting (hfs) of about 0.2 mT in the EPR spectra of the nitroxides. The effect was attributed to the hfs constant of only one of four methylene hydrogen atoms of two geminal ethyl substituents not fully averaged by ethyl group rotation and ring puckering. In accordance with this assumption, the substitution of hydrogen atoms of CH2 groups in 2,2,5,5-tetraethyl-substituted imidazolidine nitroxides by deuterium leads to the substantial narrowing of EPR lines which could be useful for many biochemical and biomedical applications, including pH-monitoring. W-band EPR spectra of 2,2,5,5-tetraethyl-substituted imidazolidine nitroxide and its 2,2,5,5-tetraethyl–d8 deuterium-substituted analog measured at low temperatures demonstrated high sensitivity of their g-factors to pH, which indicates their applicability as spin labels possessing high stability.
In plants and cyanobacteria, two light-driven electron pumps, photosystems I and II (PSI, PSII), facilitate electron transfer from water to carbon dioxide with quantum efficiency close to unity. While similar in structure and function, the reaction centers of PSI and PSII operate at widely different potentials with PSI being the strongest reducing agent known in living nature. Photochemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization (photo-CIDNP) in magic-angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements provides direct excess to the heart of large photosynthetic complexes (A. Diller, Alia, E. Roy, P. Gast, H.J. van Gorkom, J. Zaanen, H.J.M. de Groot, C. Glaubitz, J. Matysik, Photosynth. Res. 84, 303–308, 2005; Alia, E. Roy, P. Gast, H.J. van Gorkom, H.J.M. de Groot, G. Jeschke, J. Matysik, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126, 12819–12826, 2004). By combining the dramatic signal increase obtained from the solid-state photo-CIDNP effect with 15N isotope labeling of PSI, we were able to map the electron spin density in the active cofactors of PSI and study primary charge separation at atomic level. We compare data obtained from two different PSI proteins, one from spinach (Spinacia oleracea) and other from the aquatic plant duckweed (Spirodella oligorrhiza). Results demonstrate a large flexibility of the PSI in terms of its electronic architecture while their electronic ground states are strictly conserved.
A novel intrinsically decoupled transmit and receive radio-frequency coil element is presented for applications in parallel imaging and parallel excitation techniques in high-field magnetic resonance imaging. Decoupling is achieved by a twofold strategy: during transmission elements are driven by current sources, while during signal reception resonant elements are switched to a high input impedance preamplifier. To avoid B0 distortions by magnetic impurities or DC currents a resonant transmission line is used to relocate electronic components from the vicinity of the imaged object. The performance of a four-element array for 3 T magnetic resonance tomograph is analyzed by means of simulation, measurements of electromagnetic fields and bench experiments. The feasibility of parallel acquisition and parallel excitation is demonstrated and compared to that of a conventional power source-driven array of equivalent geometry. Due to their intrinsic decoupling the current-controlled elements are ideal basic building blocks for multi-element transmit and receive arrays of flexible geometry.
Electron paramagnetic resonance was used to monitor free radicals and paramagnetic species like Fe, Mn, Cu generation, stability and status in Asparagus officinalis infected by common pathogens Fusarium proliferatum and F. oxysporum. Occurrence of F. proliferatum and F. oxysporum, level of free radicals and other paramagnetic species, as well as salicylic acid and mycotoxins content in roots and stems of seedlings were estimated on the second and fourth week after inoculation. In the first term free and total salicylic acid contents were related to free radicals level in stem (P = 0.010 and P = 0.033, respectively). Concentration of Fe3+ ions in porphyrin complexes (g = 2.3, g = 2.9) was related to the species of pathogen. There was no significant difference between Mn2+ concentrations in stem samples; however, the level of free radicals in samples inoculated with F. proliferatum was significantly higher when compared to F. oxysporum.
Infestation of harvested apple fruits by the peach fruit moth (Carposina sasakii Matsumura) was studied using a dedicated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) apparatus equipped with a 0.2-T permanent magnet. Infested holes on the three-dimensional (3-D) images tracked ecological movements of peach fruit moth larvae within the food fruits, and thus in their natural habitat. Sensitive short solenoid coil and surface coil detectors were devised to shorten measurement times. The short solenoid coil detected infestation holes at a rate of 6.4 s per image by the single-slice 2-D measurement. The multi-slice 2-D measurement provided six slice images of a fruit within 2 min taken by the two detectors. These results indicate that the 0.2-T MRI apparatus allows one to distinguish sound fruits from infested ones, and also as a means for plant protection and the preservation of natural ecological systems in foreign trade.
Electronic states of iron ion complexes in human blood from patients with melanoma have been investigated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The measurements were performed at liquid nitrogen temperature (77 K) on an X-band EPR spectrometer. Numerous types of iron paramagnetic centers have been identified. In several kinds of protein complexes exemplified by methemoglobin, transferrin or ferritin, various forms of trivalent iron have been found. Three groups of patients with typical EPR spectra have been individualized. These groups differed in types and concentration of paramagnetic centers in peripheral blood. A good correlation has been found between the EPR results, the total iron ion complexes concentration and transferrin saturation.
Molecular structures of the isolated tetrahedral oxovanadium(IV) and bridged μ-oxo-divanadium(IV) complexes hosted by the clusters mimicking surfaces of amorphous silica-based materials were investigated using density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Principal values of the g and A tensors for the monomer vanadyl species were obtained using the coupled-perturbed DFT level of theory and the spin–orbit mean-field approximation (SOMF). Magnetic exchange interaction for the μ-oxo bridged vanadium(IV) dimer was investigated within the broken symmetry approach. An antiferromagnetic coupling of the individual magnetic moments of the vanadium(IV) centers in the [VO–O–VO]2+ bridges was revealed and discussed in detail. The coupling explains pronounced decrease of the electron paramagnetic resonance signal (EPR) intensity, observed for the reduced VOx/SiO2 samples with the increasing coverage of vanadia, in terms of transformation of the paramagnetic monomer species into the dimers with S = 0 ground state.
High-resolution two-dimensional (2D) 1H–13C heteronuclear correlation spectra are recorded for selective observation of interfacial 3–5.5 Å contacts of the uniformly 13C-labeled phycocyanobilin (PCB) chromophore with its unlabeled binding pocket. The experiment is based on a medium- and long-distance heteronuclear correlation (MELODI–HETCOR) method. For improving 1H spectral resolution, a windowed phase-modulated Lee–Goldburg (wPMLG) decoupling scheme is applied during the t1 evolution period. Our approach allows for identification of chromophore–protein interactions, in particular for elucidation of the hydrogen-bonding networks and charge distributions within the chromophore-binding pocket. The resulting pulse sequence is tested on the cyanobacterial (Cph1) phytochrome sensory module (residues 1–514, Cph1Δ2) containing uniformly 13C- and 15N-labeled PCB chromophore (u-[13C,15N]-PCB-Cph1Δ2) at 17.6 T.
In photosynthetic bacteria, light-induced electron transfer takes place in a protein called the reaction center (RC) leading to the reduction of a bound ubiquinone molecule, QB, coupled with proton binding from solution. We used electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) to study the magnetic properties of the protonated semiquinone, an intermediate proposed to play a role in proton coupled electron transfer to QB. To stabilize the protonated semiquinone state, we used a ubiquinone derivative, rhodoquinone, which as a semiquinone is more easily protonated than ubisemiquinone. To reduce this low-potential quinone we used mutant RCs modified to directly reduce the quinone in the QB site via B-branch electron transfer (Paddock et al. in Biochemistry 44:6920–6928, 2005). EPR and ENDOR signals were observed upon illumination of mutant RCs in the presence of rhodoquinone. The EPR signals had g values characteristic of rhodosemiquinone (gx = 2.0057, gy = 2.0048, gz ∼ 2.0018) at pH 9.5 and were changed at pH 4.5. The ENDOR spectrum showed couplings due to solvent exchangeable protons typical of hydrogen bonds similar to, but different from, those found for ubisemiquinone. This approach should be useful in future magnetic resonance studies of the protonated semiquinone.
The function of many proteins involves equilibria between conformational substates, and to elucidate mechanisms of function it is essential to have experimental tools to detect the presence of conformational substates and to determine the time scale of exchange between them. Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) has the potential to serve this purpose. In proteins containing a nitroxide side chain (R1), multicomponent electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra can arise either from equilibria involving different conformational substates or rotamers of R1. To employ SDSL to uniquely identify conformational equilibria, it is thus essential to distinguish between these origins of multicomponent spectra. Here we show that this is possible based on the time scale for exchange of the nitroxide between distinct environments that give rise to multicomponent EPR spectra; rotamer exchange for R1 lies in the ≈0.1–1 μs range, while conformational exchange is at least an order of magnitude slower. The time scales of exchange events are determined by saturation recovery EPR, and in favorable cases, the exchange rate constants between substates with lifetimes of approximately 1–70 μs can be estimated by the approach.