Molecular MRI in the Earth's Magnetic Field Using Continuous Hyperpolarization of a Biomolecule in Water

Philipp Rovedo, Stephan Knecht, Tim Bäumlisberger, Anna Lena Cremer, Simon B. Duckett, Ryan E. Mewis, Gary G R Green, Michael Burns, Peter J. Rayner, Dieter Leibfritz, Jan G. Korvink, Jürgen Hennig, Gerhard Pütz, Dominik Von Elverfeldt, Jan Bernd Hövener*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we illustrate a method to continuously hyperpolarize a biomolecule, nicotinamide, in water using parahydrogen and signal amplification by reversible exchange (SABRE). Building on the preparation procedure described recently by Truong et al. [ J. Phys. Chem. B, 2014, 118, 13882-13889 ], aqueous solutions of nicotinamide and an Ir-IMes catalyst were prepared for low-field NMR and MRI. The 1H-polarization was continuously renewed and monitored by NMR experiments at 5.9 mT for more than 1000 s. The polarization achieved corresponds to that induced by a 46 T magnet (P = 1.6 × 10-4) or an enhancement of 104. The polarization persisted, although reduced, if cell culture medium (DPBS with Ca2+ and Mg2+) or human cells (HL-60) were added, but was no longer observable after the addition of human blood. Using a portable MRI unit, fast 1H-MRI was enabled by cycling the magnetic field between 5 mT and the Earth's field for hyperpolarization and imaging, respectively. A model describing the underlying spin physics was developed that revealed a polarization pattern depending on both contact time and magnetic field. Furthermore, the model predicts an opposite phase of the dihydrogen and substrate signal after one exchange, which is likely to result in the cancelation of some signal at low field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5670-5677
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016

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