Earth field magnetic resonance imaging and paramagnetic contrast agents

Saideh Sadat Mortazavi, University of Texas at El Paso


The goal of this research was to visualize the uptake of copper by plants to aid phyto-remediation research. The hypothesis was that regions of the plant with more copper will have an enhanced NMR signal using copper as a paramagnetic contrast agent. As the name implies, Earth Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (EFMRI) spectrometry uses a magnetic field 300,000 times weaker than a 600 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer. Just like in conventional human MRI, this portable instrument is capable of recording one, two and three dimensional images though the sample size is much smaller. The enhancement of signal was first demonstrated recording the 2D images of different concentrations of aqueous copper sulfate solutions. The last research focused on growing soybean and mesquite plants in hydroponic media containing 0.25 mM copper nitrate for four weeks and recording their EFMRI images alongside plants grown without copper nitrate. Results showed EFMRI to have the advantage of probing the plant absorption of copper without having to dissect the specimen and therefore will take less sample preparation and time than current analysis techniques. This technique could be beneficial to aid phyto-remediation technology by using plants that are capable of absorbing copper as a heavy metal pollutant and imaging the plants to assure copper accumulation in them.

Subject Area

Chemistry|Analytical chemistry

Recommended Citation

Mortazavi, Saideh Sadat, "Earth field magnetic resonance imaging and paramagnetic contrast agents" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1473880.