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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

1H NMR of compounds with low water solubility in the presence of erythrocytes: effects of emulsion phase separation.

When lipophilic compounds like diethyl phthalate (DEP) were added to water, two sets of resonances appeared in the 1H NMR spectrum, whereas when added in concentrations above approximately 3.5 mM to erythrocytes in a high haematocrit suspension, only one set of resonances was observed at the low-frequency position. The appearance of one set of resonances at lower frequency was found to be common to a series of lipophilic compounds in erythrocytes. The appearance of the NMR spectra is ascribed to the existence of an emulsion, meaning two different phases of a compound: a "droplet" (resonances to lower frequency) and aqueous dissolved phase (resonances to higher frequency). The absence of the resonances from the dissolved phase in erythrocyte solution is ascribed to exchange broadening. The absolute chemical shift of the compound in its "droplet" phase was also measured using a cylindrical/spherical microcell. This arrangement mimicked the geometry of the dissolved versus the phase-separated species and thus obviated the effect of a difference in magnetic susceptibility between the "droplet" solute and its aqueous solution. Factors influencing the formation of emulsion phases such as erythrocytes, haemoglobin and smaller proteins were investigated; they are found to be effective in the order given.[1]


  1. 1H NMR of compounds with low water solubility in the presence of erythrocytes: effects of emulsion phase separation. Hansen, P.E., Skibsted, U., Nissen, J., Rae, C.D., Kuchel, P.W. Eur. Biophys. J. (2001) [Pubmed]
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