NMR relaxometry for biomedicine and advanced materials

A multidisciplinary doctoral network for field-cycling NMR relaxometry

Field-cycling relaxometry represents a versatile tool to monitor structure and dynamics on a wide time scale, from picoseconds to milliseconds, providing information of great importance for understanding the properties of biological systems and improving materials and drugs. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the project aims to develop the theoretical knowledge of the field-dependent relaxation processes and to investigate the potential of field-cycling relaxometry for biomedical applications and for the characterisation of advanced materials. The objectives include the improvement of magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents and paramagnetic nanosystems for theranostics, material development, and application for cancer diagnosis.

Field-cycling relaxometry experienced a tremendous boost during the last decade. Despite the numerous, emerging possibilities of applications, theoretical approaches for the analysis of the relaxometry data are often controversial and, for some systems, accurate models have not been identified. The FC-RELAX project aims at developing the theoretical knowledge of field dependent relaxation processes and at exploiting all potentialities of field-cycling relaxometry for different biomedical applications and for the characterization of advanced materials. The research projects are focused to the improvement of efficacy and safety of MRI contrast agents and paramagnetic nanosystems for theranostics, the exploitation of relaxometry for cancer diagnosis and for the development of partially crystalline materials, and of ionic liquids for their use as electrolytes in energy storage devices. The program is based on high-level multidisciplinary and multisectoral training, and on a consortium of tight and complementary experimental scientists and theoreticians. FC-RELAX comprises 10 academic partners and 3 companies from 8 European countries, and will train 11 researchers who will benefit by extensive interactions between academic and industrial partners, endowed with state-of-the art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructures. The industrial partners include the only company in the world producing field-cycling relaxometers, a European company leader in the research and production of MRI contrast agents, and a scientific oriented technology company on the world market of magnetic resonance instrumentation.

The field-cycling technique (Parigi et al. Prog. Nucl. Magn. Reson. Spectrosc. 2021, 124–125, 85)


Funded by the European Union
Horizon Europe (HORIZON)
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
Doctoral Networks (MSCA-DN)

Project details:
Starting date: 1 March 2023
Duration: 4 years
Grant Agreement: 101072758
Budget: € 2 601 108.00