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Abstract #3704

Simple, cost-efficient, and highly sensitive molecular imaging with hyperpolarized milliTesla MRI

Thomas Theis1, Johannes F. P. Colell2, David E. J. Waddington3,4,5, Warren S. Warren1,6, and Matthew S. Rosen4,5,7

1Department of Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States, 2Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States, 3School of Physics, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 4A. A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States, 5Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States, 6Departments of Physics, Radiology and BME, Duke University, Durham, NC, 7Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Hyperpolarized MRI is a powerful approach to non-invasisve biomolecular imaging because of high sensitivity and excellent molecular specificity. However, current methods are limited by high cost (>$5M) and short hyperpolarized signal lifetimes (<1 min). We overcome both limitations by low field (6.5 mT) imaging of molecules polarized by non-reactive transfer of spin order from parahydrogen. Both, parahydrogen polarizers and low-field MRI hardware are simple technologies affordable on a modest budget (<$200k). At low fields, we establish hyperpolarization decay time constants of above 20 min, greatly exceeding current markers. This suggests highly sensitive biomolecular MR imaging could be done at the cost of an X-Ray.

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