19F spin-lattice relaxation of perfluoropolyethers: Dependence on temperature and magnetic field strength (7.0-14.1 T)

Deepak K. Kadayakkara, Krishnan Damodaran, T. Kevin Hitchens, Jeff W.M. Bulte, Eric T. Ahrens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Fluorine (19F) MRI of perfluorocarbon-labeled cells has become a powerful technique to track the migration and accumulation of cells in living organisms. It is common to label cells for 19F MRI with nanoemulsions of perfluoropolyethers that contain a large number of chemically equivalent fluorine atoms. Understanding the mechanisms of 19F nuclear relaxation, and in particular the spin-lattice relaxation of these molecules, is critical to improving experimental sensitivity. To date, the temperature and magnetic field strength dependence of spin-lattice relaxation rate constant (R1) for perfluoropolyethers has not been described in detail. In this study, we evaluated the R1 of linear perfluoropolyether (PFPE) and cyclic perfluoro-15-crown-5 ether (PCE) at three magnetic field strengths (7.0, 9.4, and 14.1 T) and at temperatures ranging from 256-323 K. Our results show that R1 of perfluoropolyethers is dominated by dipole-dipole interactions and chemical shift anisotropy. R1 increased with magnetic field strength for both PCE and PFPE. In the temperature range studied, PCE was in the fast motion regime (ωτc < 1) at all field strengths, but for PFPE, R1 passed through a maximum, from which the rotational correlation time was estimated. The importance of these measurements for the rational design of new 19F MRI agents and methods is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Cell tracking
  • Fluorine-19 MRI
  • Perfluorocarbons
  • Spin-lattice relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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