Design and construction of an electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer, operating in the continuous wave mode in the radio frequency (rf) region, and capable of performing spectroscopy and in vivo imaging of paramagnetic spin probes is described. A resonant frequency of 300 MHz was chosen to provide the required sensitivity at nontoxic levels of commonly used spin probes and penetration of the if in small animals. Three major components, the magnet, the radio frequency signal detection bridge, and the data acquisition module are described in this article. Integration of a rapid scan capability to reduce imaging time is also described. Two- and three-dimensional EPR images of the spin probe distribution in phantom objects as well as from in vivo experiments are reported. From the EPR images, morphology of some internal organs could be recognized. EPR images of the spin probe distribution in mice suggest differences in perfusion of the spin probe between normal and tumor regions. Addition of a spectral dimension to spatial images should enable differentiation of oxygen status in normal and pathological conditions.
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