1 H Fast Field Cycling NMR (FFC-NMR) relaxometry is proposed as a powerful method to investigate tumour stroma in vivo upon the administration of a Gd-based contrast agent. To perform this study, an FFC-NMR equipment endowed with a wide bore magnet was used for the acquisition of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Dispersion profiles on healthy muscle and tumour tissue in living mice. At magnetic field strengths < of ca. 1 MHz, the differences in the relaxation rates of the intra and extracellular compartment become of the same order of magnitude of the exchange rate across the cellular membranes. Under this condition, the water exchange rate between the two compartments yields to a biexponential magnetization recovery that can be analysed by fitting the experimental data with the two-Site eXchange (2SX) model. Using this model, it was possible to obtain, for the two compartments, both relaxation properties and water kinetic constants for water exchange across cell membranes. The method allowed us to determine the effect of the "matrix" on the water proton relaxation times and, in turn, to get some insights of the composition of this compartment, till now, largely unknown.
- Fast Field Cycling relaxometry
- Gd contrast agents
- intracellular water lifetime
- tumour stroma
- INTRACELLULAR WATER LIFETIME