226. Mechanisms of transverse relaxation of water in muscle tissue
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and in particular transverse relaxation (T2), has been used to characterize meat and seafood products for decades. Despite many years of research, it is still not possible to reproducibly correlate the transverse relaxation of muscle foods to attributes that determine their quality and value. Instead of directly trying to interpret the T2 spectrum itself, typically chemometrics is used to try to relate the relaxation distributions to other measured properties on the sample. As muscle tissue is a porous medium, it is tempting to use equations developed to analyze other porous systems to provide a more direct, quantitative description of the tissue. However, the standard equations used to characterize porous materials have been developed for predominantly geological systems. This article discusses the foundations of transverse relaxation theory in porous media and the challenges that arise when attempting to adapt the equations to a biological system like tissue.