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How Can One Measure Sodium In Cells, Tissues, and In Vivo?

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Sodium plays important roles in the body, such as regulating electrical potentials, osmotic pressure, and water content. Monitoring sodium levels in vivo by noninvasive NMR and MRI methodology can provide markers for early signs of osteoarthritis, cancer, brain disorders, and muscle dysfunction. To overcome obstacles, such as low sensitivity or short relaxation times, inherent for sodium nuclei, we develop efficient excitation pulse sequences and image readout techniques. Fluid-suppressed sodium MRI has already shown differences between osteoarthritic groups of volunteers and healthy controls in vivo. The methodology can also be used for studying cells under stress or cell dysfunctions. Sodium measurements with JURCAT (T-cell leukemia) cells have revealed intracellular sodium buildup after hyperthermic treatment.

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