Denysenkov, V., et al., Continuous-flow DNP polarizer for MRI applications at 1.5 T. 2017. 7: p. 44010.
Here we describe a new hyperpolarization approach for magnetic resonance imaging applications at 1.5 T. Proton signal enhancements of more than 20 were achieved with a newly designed multimode microwave resonator situated inside the bore of the imager and used for Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization of the water proton signal. Different from other approaches in our setup the hyperpolarization is achieved continuously by liquid water flowing through the polarizer under continuous microwave excitation. With an available flow rate of up to 1.5 ml/min, which should be high enough for DNP MR angiography applications in small animals like mice and rats. The hyperpolarized liquid cooled to physiological temperature can be routed by a mechanical switch to a quartz capillary for injection into the blood vessels of the target object. This new approach allows hyperpolarization of protons without the need of an additional magnet and avoids the losses arising from the transfer of the hyperpolarized solution between magnets. The signal-to-noise improvement of this method is demonstrated on two- and three-dimensional phantoms of blood vessels.