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Relaxation Behavior Study of Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles at Ultralow and Ultrahigh Magnetic Fields

Article appeared in: Journal of Physical Chemistry B 115 (2011) 14789-147933, doi: 10.1021/jp2066138

W. Wang, H. Dong, V. Pacheco, D. Willbold, Y. Zhang, A. Offenhäusser, R. Hartmann, T.E. Weirich, P. Ma, H.-J. Krause, Z. Gu

Published online: October 2011

Abstract

Ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (USPIOs) have attracted attention because of their current and potential usefulness as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). USPIOs are usually used for their significant capacity to produce predominant proton relaxation effects, which result in signal reduction. However, most previous studies that utilized USPIOs have been focused on the relaxation behavior at commonly used magnetic fields of clinical MRI systems (typically 1–3 T). In this paper, magnetic relaxation processes of protons in water surrounding the USPIOs are studied at ultralow (≤10 mT) and ultrahigh magnetic fields (14.1 T). USPIOs used in our experiments were synthesized with a core size of 6 nm, and transferred from organic to water by ligand exchange. The proton spin–lattice relaxation time (T1) and spin–spin relaxation time (T2) were investigated at ultralow (212 μT for T2 and 10 mT for T1) and at 14.1 T with different iron concentrations. At all of the fields, there is a linear relationship between the inverse of relaxation times and the iron concentration. The spin–spin relaxivity (r2) at 14.1 T is much larger than that value of the ultralow field. At ultralow field, however, the spin–lattice relaxivity (r1) is larger than the r1 at ultrahigh field. The results provide a perspective on potential in vivo and in vitro applications of USPIOs in ultralow and ultrahigh field NMR and MRI.

Left: Longitudinal relaxation rate (1/T1); right: transverse relaxation rate (1/T2) for USPIOs–DMSA (red) and USPIOs–carboxylic acid-silane (blue), respectively, against iron concentration at 212 μT, 10 mT, and 14.1 T.Left: Longitudinal relaxation rate (1/T1); right: transverse relaxation rate (1/T2) for USPIOs–DMSA (red) and USPIOs–carboxylic acid-silane (blue), respectively, against iron concentration at 212 μT, 10 mT, and 14.1 T.


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