Cavallari, E., et al., Studies to enhance the hyperpolarization level in PHIP-SAH-produced C13-pyruvate. J Magn Reson, 2018. 289: p. 12-17.
The use of [1-(13)C]pyruvate, hyperpolarized by dissolution-Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (d-DNP), in in vivo metabolic studies has developed quickly, thanks to the imaging probe’s diagnostic relevance. Nevertheless, the cost of a d-DNP polarizer is quite high and the speed of hyperpolarization process is relatively slow, meaning that its use is limited to few research laboratories. ParaHydrogen Induced Polarization Side Arm Hydrogenation (PHIP-SAH) (Reineri et al., 2015) is a cost effective and easy-to-handle method that produces (13)C-MR hyperpolarization in [1-(13)C]pyruvate and other metabolites. This work aims to identify the main determinants of the hyperpolarization levels observed in C13-pyruvate using this method. By dissecting the various steps of the PHIP-SAH procedure, it has been possible to assess the role of several experimental parameters whose optimization must be pursued if this method is to be made suitable for future translational steps. The search for possible solutions has led to improvements in the polarization of sodium [1-(13)C]pyruvate from 2% to 5%. Moreover, these results suggest that observed polarization levels could be increased considerably by an automatized procedure which would reduce the time required for the work-up passages that are currently carried out manually. The results reported herein mean that the attainment of polarization levels suitable for the metabolic imaging applications of these hyperpolarized substrates show significant promise.