David G. Gadian1, Kuldeep S. Panesar2, Angel J. Perez Linde3, Waldemar Senczenko3, Anthony J. Horsewill2, Walter Kockenberger3, John R. Owers-Bradley2
1Imaging & Biophysics Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom; 2School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom; 3Sir Peter Mansfield MR Centre, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
There is increasing interest in the development of techniques for hyperpolarising nuclei, with a wide range of potential applications, both in vivo and in vitro. Here, we show that high-field cryogenics (ie the so-called brute-force approach), when applied in conjunction with relaxation switches and low-field thermal mixing, can be used to generate large increases in nuclear polarisation on a realistic timescale. Among the technical advantages of this approach, the polarisation process does not involve any resonance phenomena or radiofrequency irradiation. In addition, the process is completely broadband; thus a wide range of nuclear species could be polarised simultaneously.