Fluorous Liquids for Magnetic Resonance-Based Thermometry with Enhanced Responsiveness and Environmental Degradation

Jiaqian Li, Thomas F. Mundhenke, Thomas G. Smith, William A. Arnold, William C.K. Pomerantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Accurate temperature measurement via magnetic resonance is valuable for both in vitro and in vivo analysis of local tissue for evaluating disease pathology and medical interventions. 1H MRI-based thermometry is used clinically but is susceptible to error from magnetic field drift and low sensitivity in fatty tissue and requires a reference for absolute temperature determination. As an alternative, perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA), a perfluorocarbon liquid for 19F MRI thermometry, is based on chemical shift responsiveness and approaches the sensitivity of 1H MRI thermometry agents; however, environmental persistence, greenhouse gas concerns, and multiple resonances which can lead to MRI artifacts indicate a need for alternative sensors. Using a 19F NMR-based structure-property study of synthetic organofluorine molecules, this research develops new organofluorine liquids with improved temperature responsiveness, high signal, and reduced nonmagnetically equivalent fluorine resonances. Environmental degradation analysis using reverse-phase HPLC and quantitative 19F NMR demonstrates a rapid degradation profile mediated via the aryl fluorine core of temperature sensors. Our findings show that our lead liquid temperature sensor, DD-1, can be made in high yield in a single step and possesses an improved responsiveness over our prior work and an 83% increase in aqueous thermal responsiveness over PFTBA. Degradation studies indicate robust degradation with half-lives of less than two hours under photolysis conditions for the parent compound and formation of other fluorinated products. The improved performance of DD-1 and its susceptibility to environmental degradation highlight a new lead fluorous liquid for thermometry applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6071-6079
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 11 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and NIH MIRA award R35GM140837-02 (W.C.K.P)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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