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Volume 18 (2004), Issue 2, Pages 213-225

Spin pH and SH probes: enhancing functionality of EPR-based techniques

Valery V. Khramtsov,1,2,5 Igor A. Grigor’ev,3 David J. Lurie,4 Margaret A. Foster,4 Jay L. Zweier,1 and Periannan Kuppusamy1

1Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2Institute of Chemical Kinetics & Combustion, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia
3Institute of Organic Chemistry, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia
4Department of Biomedical Physics and Bioengineering, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK
5Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, 201 HLRI, 473 W 12th Ave, The Ohio State University, OH 43210, Columbus, USA

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Along with significant progress in low-frequency electron spin resonance (ESR, also called electron paramagnetic resonance, EPR), other techniques such as Longitudinally-Detected ESR (LODESR), proton electron double-resonance imaging (PEDRI) and field-cycled dynamic nuclear polarization (FC-DNP) have been developed for in vivo applications. However their potential is still far from maximally defined, in part, because of the need for new specific function-directed spin probes. An application of stable nitroxides of imidazoline and imidazolidine types provides unique possibility to measure local values of pH and thiol content in various biological systems, including in vivo studies. These applications are based on the observation of specific chemical reactions of these nitroxides with protons or thiols, followed by significant changes in their EPR spectra. To increase sensitivity of pH probes for low-frequency EPR spectroscopy we evaluated two alternative approaches: (i) application of isotopically substituted labels, and (ii) acquisition of EPR spectra at high modulation amplitude. Spatial and spectral-spatial imaging (pH-mapping) using PEDRI and L-band EPR imagers were performed both on phantom samples and in vivo. The applications of the pH and SH probes in model systems, biological fluids, and in vivo in living animals are discussed.