Application of Paramagnetically Tagged Molecules for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Biofilm Mass Transport Processes

Ramanan, B., Holmes, W.M. , Sloan, W.T. and Phoenix, V.R. (2010) Application of Paramagnetically Tagged Molecules for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Biofilm Mass Transport Processes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(12), pp. 4027-4036. (doi: 10.1128/AEM.03016-09)

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Molecules become readily visible by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) when labeled with a paramagnetic tag. Consequently, MRI can be used to image their transport through porous media. In this study, we demonstrated that this method could be applied to image mass transport processes in biofilms. The transport of a complex of gadolinium and diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA), a commercially available paramagnetic molecule, was imaged both in agar (as a homogeneous test system) and in a phototrophic biofilm. The images collected were T-1 weighted, where T-1 is an MRI property of the biofilm and is dependent on Gd-DTPA concentration. A calibration protocol was applied to convert T-1 parameter maps into concentration maps, thus revealing the spatially resolved concentrations of this tracer at different time intervals. Comparing the data obtained from the agar experiment with data from a one-dimensional diffusion model revealed that transport of Gd-DTPA in agar was purely via diffusion, with a diffusion coefficient of 7.2 x 10(-10) m(2) s(-1). In contrast, comparison of data from the phototrophic biofilm experiment with data from a two-dimensional diffusion model revealed that transport of Gd-DTPA inside the biofilm was by both diffusion and advection, equivalent to a diffusion coefficient of 1.04 x 10(-9) m(2) s(-1). This technology can be used to further explore mass transport processes in biofilms, either by using the wide range of commercially available paramagnetically tagged molecules and nanoparticles or by using bespoke tagged molecules

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sloan, Professor William and Holmes, Dr William and Phoenix, Dr Vernon
Authors: Ramanan, B., Holmes, W.M., Sloan, W.T., and Phoenix, V.R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN (Online):1098-5336
Published Online:30 April 2010

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
491431Magnetic resonance imaging of biofilm mass transport processes with gadolinium tracersVernon PhoenixEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/G028443/1School of Geographical and Earth Sciences