The Use of Driven Equilibrium Conditions in the Measurement of NMR Relaxation Times

  • John K. Roberts

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The further development of the use of NMR relaxation times in chemical, biological and medical research has perhaps been curtailed by the length of time these measurements often take. The DESPOT (Driven Equilibrium Single Pulse Observation of T1) method has been developed, which reduces the time required to make a T1 measurement by a factor of up to 100. The technique has been studied extensively herein and the thesis contains recommendations for its successful experimental application. Modified DESPOT type equations for use when T2 relaxation is incomplete or where off-resonance effects are thought to be significant are also presented. A recently reported application of the DESPOT technique to MR imaging gave good initial results but suffered from the fact that the images were derived from spin systems that were not driven to equilibrium. An approach which allows equilibrium to be obtained with only one non-acquisition sequence is presented herein and should prove invaluable in variable contrast imaging. A DESPOT type approach has also been successfully applied to the measurement of T1. T_1's can be measured, using this approach significantly faster than by the use of the classical method. The new method also provides a value for T1 simultaneously and therefore the technique should prove valuable in intermediate energy barrier chemical exchange studies. The method also gives rise to the possibility of obtaining simultaneous T1 and T1 MR images. The DESPOT technique depends on rapid multipulsing at nutation angles, normally less than 90^o. Work in this area has highlighted the possible time saving for spectral acquisition over the classical technique (90^o-5T_1)_n. A new method based on these principles has been developed which permits the rapid multipulsing of samples to give T_1 and M_0 ratio information. The time needed, however, is only slightly longer than would be required to determine the M_0 ratio alone using the classical technique. In ^1H decoupled ^13C spectroscopy the method also gives nOe ratio information for the individual absorptions in the spectrum.
Date of Award1989
Original languageEnglish


  • driven equilibrium conditions
  • measurement of NMR relaxation times

Cite this