American Chemical Society
Magnetic Resonance Imaging [MRI] turned 50 this year. It now is an indispensable diagnostic method for almost all of modern medicine, and will be very familiar to audience members. However, it is not often emphasized that MRI is chemistry-based; arising as it did from chemical NMR spectroscopy. Because of the ubiquity of biological tissue water, the water proton [1H2O] resonance is by far the strongest NMR signal: those from all other stable, biological MR nuclides are much, much weaker. In MR imaging, spatial resolution is proportional to NMR signal strength. Thus, essentially all clinical MRI is 1H2O-based, and it focuses almost entirely on depicting anatomy. It is well known to produce exquisite, non-invasive views of internal tissues [but even this is based on physical chemistry principles].
However, can MRI do even more than display anatomy? For years, MRI chemists have tried to use biological non-water-1H, 13C, 23Na, and 31P MR signals to glimpse metabolic aspects in vivo. But their poor spatial resolution poses serious obstacles. We are working to use the very strong 1H2O resonance, and it’s concomitant high spatial resolution, to measure on-going metabolic activity in addition to anatomy. Specifically, we will report the first non-invasive, high resolution images of sodium, potassium pump activity. It can be argued the ubiquitous membrane pump, Na+,K+-ATPase [NKA], is biology’s most vital enzyme. We will show NKA activity images of the resting [and possibly the awakening] human brain, and inside a deadly brain tumor.
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The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. A nonprofit organization chartered by Congress, ACS is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers, and related professions around the globe.
We are the Portland, Oregon local section of the American Chemical Society. The Portland Section covers counties in northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington. We aim to provide engaging events for our community, fund scholarships to support students and teachers, and provide volunteer opportunities.
We are one of the three ACS sections that host the Linus Pauling Medal Award Symposium (the other two being the Puget Sound Section and the Oregon Section). The Pauling Medal is awarded annually with the symposium held in the fall. Oregon State University maintains an exhibit dedicated to Linus Pauling's work.
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