Constant gradient FEXSY: A time-efficient method for measuring exchange

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Filter-Exchange NMR Spectroscopy (FEXSY) is a method for measurement of apparent transmembranal water exchange rates. The experiment is comprised of two co-linear sequential pulsed-field gradient (PFG) blocks, separated by a mixing period in which exchange takes place. The first block remains constant and serves as a diffusion-based filter that removes signal coming from fast-diffusing water. The mixing time and the gradient area (q-value) of the second block are varied on repeated iterations to produce a 2D data set that is analyzed using a bi-compartmental model which assumes that intra- and extra-cellular water are slow and fast diffusing, respectively. Here we suggest a variant of the FEXSY method in which measurements for different mixing times are taken at a constant gradient. This Constant Gradient FEXSY (CG-FEXSY) allows for the determination of the exchange rate by using a smaller 1D data set, so that the same information can be gathered during a considerably shorter scan time. Furthermore, in the limit of high diffusion weighting, such that the extra-cellular water signal is removed while the intra-cellular signal is retained, CG-FEXSY also allows for determination of the intra-cellular mean residence time (MRT). The theoretical results are validated on a living yeast cells sample and on a fixed porcine optic nerve, where the values obtained from the two methods are shown to be in agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106667
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • CG-PFG
  • Constant gradient PFG
  • FEXI
  • Filter-exchange PFG
  • Intra-cellular mean residence time
  • PFG
  • Pulsed-field gradient
  • Transmembranal water exchange rate


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