Hyperpolarized Resources

The Resource has created a laser facility for producing hyperpolarized noble gases, and imaging and spectroscopic measurements of hyperpolarized 3He and 129Xe have been performed in vivo.

  1. GE Healthcare optical pumping 3He polarizers (x2)
    • These devices are capable of producing up to 1.2 liters of 30 – 35% polarized 3He gas in approximately 10 hours. 3He has been successfully used for regional structural and functional imaging of upper and lower airways in animals, as well as humans. 3He is however an inert gas and does not take part in any chemical or metabolic process, and therefore its application is limited to the abovementioned studies.
  2. Home-built optical pumping 3He polarizers (x2)
    • These devices are capable of producing up to 1.5 liters of 45 – 55% polarized 3He gas in approximately 12 hours. 3He has been successfully used for regional structural and functional imaging of upper and lower airways in animals, as well as humans. 3He is however an inert gas and does not take part in any chemical or metabolic process, and therefore its application is limited to the abovementioned studies.
  3. GE Healthcare parahydrogen-induced 13C polarizer
    • This device is capable of producing 5 – 15 ml of 40 – 50% polarized 13C in approximately 3 minutes. 13C has applications as contrast agents in in vivo MRI imaging in small animals. Toxicity of certain 13C compounds limits its use.
  4. Home-built parahydrogen-induced 13C polarizer
    • This device is capable of producing 4 – 10 ml of 40 – 50% polarized 13C in approximately 30 seconds. 13C has applications as contrast agents in in vivo MRI imaging in small animals. Toxicity of certain 13C compounds limits its use.
  5. Parahydrogen Production System
    • In addition to the two listed parahydrogen 13C polarizers, our hyperpolarized 13C facility includes a cryogenic parahydrogen generator and an ortho/parahydrogen measurement device. The devices are capable of polarizing suitable 13C compounds through parahydrogen-induced polarization transfer technique with substrates such as hydroxyethyl acrylate. We have successfully achieved polarization levels as high as ~90% in the “para” state.
  6. Oxford Instruments Hypersense System
    • This device is capable of polarizing a large assortment of biologically friendly molecules, including pyruvate, with a range of polarization (5 – 18%) depending on the compound. This device is limited by the sample cup size, magnetic field strength making it suitable for small animal experiments.
  7. Home-built optical pumping 129Xe polarizer
    • This device is capable of producing 20 ml/min nearly 10% polarized 129Xe gas almost continuously. 129Xe has been used for regional functional imaging of lower airways in animals.This capability can be easily extended to humans by increasing the production rate of this polarizer. 129Xe is however an inert gas and does not participate in any chemical or metabolic process in the body. Limited spectroscopic information is available from hyperpolarized 129Xe, which used for in vitro studies can elucidate certain aspects of lung function, but it is not generally applicable to metabolic processes or other organs.