Category Archives: Temperature Jump

Transport and imaging of brute-force (13)C hyperpolarization

Hirsch, M.L., et al., Transport and imaging of brute-force (13)C hyperpolarization. J Magn Reson, 2015. 261: p. 87-94.

We demonstrate transport of hyperpolarized frozen 1-(13)C pyruvic acid from its site of production to a nearby facility, where a time series of (13)C images was acquired from the aqueous dissolution product. Transportability is tied to the hyperpolarization (HP) method we employ, which omits radical electron species used in other approaches that would otherwise relax away the HP before reaching the imaging center. In particular, we attained (13)C HP by ‘brute-force’, i.e., using only low temperature and high-field (e.g., T< approximately 2K and B approximately 14T) to pre-polarize protons to a large Boltzmann value ( approximately 0.4% (1)H polarization). After polarizing the neat, frozen sample, ejection quickly (<1s) passed it through a low field (B<100G) to establish the (1)H pre-polarization spin temperature on (13)C via the process known as low-field thermal mixing (yielding approximately 0.1% (13)C polarization). By avoiding polarization agents (a.k.a. relaxation agents) that are needed to hyperpolarize by the competing method of dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (d-DNP), the (13)C relaxation time was sufficient to transport the sample for approximately 10min before finally dissolving in warm water and obtaining a (13)C image of the hyperpolarized, dilute, aqueous product ( approximately 0.01% (13)C polarization, a >100-fold gain over thermal signals in the 1T scanner). An annealing step, prior to polarizing the sample, was also key for increasing T1 approximately 30-fold during transport. In that time, HP was maintained using only modest cryogenics and field (T approximately 60K and B=1.3T), for T1((13)C) near 5min. Much greater time and distance (with much smaller losses) may be covered using more-complete annealing and only slight improvements on transport conditions (e.g., yielding T1 approximately 5h at 30K, 2T), whereas even intercity transfer is possible (T1>20h) at reasonable conditions of 6K and 2T. Finally, it is possible to increase the overall enhancement near d-DNP levels (i.e., 10(2)-fold more) by polarizing below 100mK, where nanoparticle agents are known to hasten T1 buildup by 100-fold, and to yield very little impact on T1 losses at temperatures relevant to transport.

Brute-Force Hyperpolarization for NMR and MRI

Hirsch, M.L., et al., Brute-Force Hyperpolarization for NMR and MRI. J Am Chem Soc, 2015. 137(26): p. 8428-34.

Hyperpolarization (HP) of nuclear spins is critical for ultrasensitive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We demonstrate an approach for >1500-fold enhancement of key small-molecule metabolites: 1-(13)C-pyruvic acid, 1-(13)C-sodium lactate, and 1-(13)C-acetic acid. The (13)C solution NMR signal of pyruvic acid was enhanced 1600-fold at B = 1 T and 40 degrees C by pre-polarizing at 14 T and approximately 2.3 K. This “brute-force” approach uses only field and temperature to generate HP. The noted 1 T observation field is appropriate for benchtop NMR and near the typical 1.5 T of MRI, whereas high-field observation scales enhancement as 1/B. Our brute-force process ejects the frozen, solid sample from the low-T, high-B polarizer, passing it through low field (B < 100 G) to facilitate “thermal mixing”. That equilibrates (1)H and (13)C in hundreds of milliseconds, providing (13)C HP from (1)H Boltzmann polarization attained at high B/T. The ejected sample arrives at a room-temperature, permanent magnet array, where rapid dissolution with 40 degrees C water yields HP solute. Transfer to a 1 T NMR system yields (13)C signals with enhancements at 80% of ideal for noted polarizing conditions. High-resolution NMR of the same product at 9.4 T had consistent enhancement plus resolution of (13)C shifts and J-couplings for pyruvic acid and its hydrate. Comparable HP was achieved with frozen aqueous lactate, plus notable enhancement of acetic acid, demonstrating broader applicability for small-molecule NMR and metabolic MRI. Brute-force avoids co-solvated free-radicals and microwaves that are essential to competing methods. Here, unadulterated samples obviate concerns about downstream purity and also exhibit slow solid-state spin relaxation, favorable for transporting HP samples.

Have a question?

If you have questions about our instrumentation or how we can help you, please contact us.