An NMR method is presented for measuring compartment-specific water diffusion coefficient (D) values. It uses relaxography, employing an extracellular contrast reagent (CR) to distinguish intracellular (IC) and extracellular (EC) 1H2O signals by differences in their respective longitudinal (T1) relaxation times. A diffusion-weighted inversion-recovery spin-echo (DW-IRSE) pulse sequence was used to acquire IR data sets with systematically and independently varying inversion time (TI) and diffusion-attenuation gradient amplitude (g) values. Implementation of the DW-IRSE technique was demonstrated and validated using yeast cells suspended in 3 mM Gd-DTPA2- with a wet/dry mass ratio of 3.25: 1.0. Two-dimensional (2D) NMR data were acquired at 2.0 T and analyzed using numerical inverse Laplace transformation (2D- and sequential 1D-ILT) and sequential exponential fitting to yield T1 and water D values. All three methods gave substantial agreement. Exponential fitting, deemed the most accurate and time efficient, yielded T1: D (relative contribution) values of 304 ms: 0.023 × 10−5 cm2/s (47%) and 65 ms: 1.24 × 10−5 cm2/s (53%) for the IC and EC components, respectively. The compartment-specific D values derived from direct biexponential fitting of diffusion-attenuation data were also in good agreement. Extension of the DW-IRSE method to in vivo models should provide valuable insights into compartment-specific water D changes in response to injury or disease.
- Contrast reagent
- Water apparent diffusion coefficient
- Yeast-cell suspension
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics