Hyperpolarization of Amino Acids in Water Utilizing Parahydrogen on a Rhodium Nanocatalyst

Kaltschnee, Lukas, Anil P. Jagtap, Jeffrey McCormick, Shawn Wagner, Louis‐S. Bouchard, Marcel Utz, Christian Griesinger, and Stefan Glöggler. “Hyperpolarization of Amino Acids in Water Utilizing Parahydrogen on a Rhodium Nanocatalyst.” Chemistry – A European Journal 25, no. 47 (August 22, 2019): 11031–35.


NMR offers many possibilities in chemical analysis, structural investigations, and medical diagnostics. Although it is broadly used, one of NMR spectroscopies main drawbacks is low sensitivity. Hyperpolarization techniques enhance NMR signals by more than four orders of magnitude allowing the design of new contrast agents. Parahydrogen induced polarization that utilizes the parahydrogen’s singlet state to create enhanced signals is of particular interest since it allows to produce molecular imaging agents within seconds. Herein, we present a strategy for signal enhancement of the carbonyl 13C in amino acids by using parahydrogen, as demonstrated for glycine and alanine. Importantly, the hyperpolarization step is carried out in water and chemically unmodified canonical amino acids are obtained. Our approach thus offers a high degree of biocompatibility, which is crucial for further application. The rapid sample hyperpolarization (within seconds) may enable the continuous production of biologically useful probes, such as metabolic contrast agents or probes for structural biology.

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