Open-Source Automated Parahydrogen Hyperpolarizer for Molecular Imaging Using 13C Metabolic Contrast Agents

Coffey, Aaron M., Roman V. Shchepin, Milton L. Truong, Ken Wilkens, Wellington Pham, and Eduard Y. Chekmenev. “Open-Source Automated Parahydrogen Hyperpolarizer for Molecular Imaging Using 13 C Metabolic Contrast Agents.” Analytical Chemistry 88, no. 16 (August 16, 2016): 8279–88.

An open-source hyperpolarizer producing 13C hyperpolarized contrast agents using parahydrogen induced polarization (PHIP) for biomedical and other applications is presented. This PHIP hyperpolarizer utilizes an Arduino microcontroller in conjunction with a readily modified graphical user interface written in the open-source processing software environment to completely control the PHIP hyperpolarization process including remotely triggering an NMR spectrometer for efficient production of payloads of hyperpolarized contrast agent and in situ quality assurance of the produced hyperpolarization. Key advantages of this hyperpolarizer include: (i) use of opensource software and hardware seamlessly allowing for replication and further improvement as well as readily customizable integration with other NMR spectrometers or MRI scanners (i.e., this is a multiplatform design), (ii) relatively low cost and robustness, and (iii) in situ detection capability and complete automation. The device performance is demonstrated by production of a dose (∼2−3 mL) of hyperpolarized 13C-succinate with %P13C ∼ 28% and 30 mM concentration and 13C-phospholactate at %P13C ∼ 15% and 25 mM concentration in aqueous medium. These contrast agents are used for ultrafast molecular imaging and spectroscopy at 4.7 and 0.0475 T. In particular, the conversion of hyperpolarized 13C-phospholactate to 13C-lactate in vivo is used here to demonstrate the feasibility of ultrafast multislice 13C MRI after tail vein injection of hyperpolarized 13C-phospholactate in mice.

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