1976: System for Production of Hyperpolarized Carbon-13 Labeled Agents for MR Imaging

Hyperpolarized carbon-13 MRI enables high-sensitivity back-ground-free imaging of blood flow, metabolism and pH. In hyperpolarization, a non-radioactive carbon-13 labeled tracer molecule such as pyruvate is prepared exogenously and administered intravenously during MR imaging. The enhanced nuclear magnetization increases the tracer’s signal by a factor of 10,000 to 100,000 relative to conventional methods, making it possible to image the transport, uptake, and metabolism of the tracer. Clinical hyperpolarized MRI is currently limited by the physical size and expense of the existing system for production of 13C labeled tracers which is based on dynamic nuclear polar-ization (DNP) and costs roughly $2-3 million. The technology described here is a combination of parahydrogen-induced polarization (PHIP) with advanced continuous flow microfluidic chemistry that enables an inexpensive, miniaturized system physically and economically compatible with installation at every clinical scanner. Catherine Lenich clenich@bidmc.harvard.edu 617-667-0568

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