Further investigation of the use of dimethyl methylphosphonate as a 31P-NMR probe of red cell volume

Julia E. Raftos*, Kiaran Kirk, Philip W. Kuchel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We have refined a method for measuring erythrocyte volume using the 31P-NMR spectrum of a probe molecule, dimethyl methylphosphonate. This compound, when added to an erythrocyte suspension, gives rise to two 31P-NMR resonances, and the frequency separation between them is linearly dependent on the intracellular haemoglobin concentration. If, for a given cell sample (under standard conditions), the separation of the two dimethyl methylphosphonate peaks has been measured and an independent estimation of the mean cell haemoglobin content and concentration has been obtained, then changes in the mean cell volume due to altered experimental conditions may be estimated from the peak separation measured under the new conditions. Although the peak separation was independent of extracellular pH, it did vary with (i) a range of extracellular suspension media, (ii) temperature, (iii) dimethyl methylphosphonate concentration, (iv) haemoglobin ligand state and (v) different blood donors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-166
Number of pages7
JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell volume
  • Dimethyl methylphosphonate
  • NMR probe


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