In vivo EPR spectroscopy of free radicals in the heart

J. L. Zweier, P. Kuppusamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy can be applied to directly measure free radicals, however, it has not been possible to measure important biologic radicals in situ because conventional spectrometer designs are not suitable for the performance of measurements on large aqueous structures such as whole organs or tissues. We describe the design, construction, and application of instrumentation developed in an effort to obtain optimum performance in measuring free radicals in intact biologic organs or tissues. This spectrometer consists of a 1- to 2-GHz microwave bridge with the source locked to the resonant frequency of a specially designed recessed gap, loop-gap resonator. The principles of resonator design and construction are analyzed and described. Using this spectrometer radical concentrations as low as 0.4 μM in aqueous solutions could be measured. Studies of isolated beating hearts involving simultaneous real time measurements of free radicals and cardiac contractile function are performed. This in vivo EPR technique is applied to study the kinetics of free radical uptake and metabolism in normally perfused and globally ischemic hearts. In addition, it is demonstrated that this technique can be used to noninvasively measure tissue oxygen consumption. Thus, low frequency EPR spectroscopy offers great promise in the study of in vivo free radical generation and the effects of this radical generation on whole biologic tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue numberSUPPL. 10
StatePublished - 1994


  • Electron paramagnetic resonance
  • Free radicals
  • Heart
  • In vivo
  • Oximetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo EPR spectroscopy of free radicals in the heart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this