Evidence for the Role of Intracellular Water Lifetime as a Tumour Biomarker Obtained by In Vivo Field-Cycling Relaxometry

Maria Rosaria Ruggiero, Simona Baroni, Stefania Pezzana, Gianni Ferrante, Simonetta Geninatti Crich*, Silvio Aime

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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It was established through in vivo T1 measurements at low magnetic fields that tumour cells display proton T1 values that are markedly longer than those shown by healthy tissue. Moreover, it has been found that the elongation of T1 parallels the aggressiveness of the investigated tumour. The T1 lengthening is associated with an enhanced water exchange rate across the transcytolemmal membrane through an overexpression/upregulation of GLUT1 and Na+/K+ ATPase transporters. It follows that the intracellular water lifetime represents a hallmark of tumour cells that can be easily monitored by measuring T1 at different magnetic field strengths ranging from 0.2 to 200 mT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7468-7472
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number25
Early online date14 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2018



  • intracellular water lifetime
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • relaxometry
  • tumor detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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